What Will You Tell Your Grandchildren About Life During the Pandemic?

Sixty years down the line, here’s what Stuyvesant students will tell their grandchildren about life during the pandemic.

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“I learned how social media really wasn’t that important.” ––Olivia Zheng, sophomore

“Back in my day, I could eat in class, and my teacher couldn’t do anything about it.” —Aaron Hsu, junior

“It sucks.” —Kevin Shaw, senior

“Sometimes, you gotta be grateful for being able to go out, to see the sky, [and] to smell the air that isn’t just the scent of something you’d smell from home. The outside world is far more beautiful when you don’t realize just how much we’ve been taking it for granted.” —Amanda Tung, freshman

“Don’t lick your fingers if you haven’t washed them.”––Anonymous, sophomore

“We were limited to what we could do outside, we had to take many safety precautions, and most of all, [we] had to live life in a completely new way and perspective that most kids and adults never have experienced.” —Mark Yang, freshman

“This pandemic showed how resilient we all are. We’re the first generation to do a fully remote school year, so that’s kinda cool. Also, more personally, I’ll talk about how much I learned to appreciate the little things, like going out with a friend, because my family moved upstate when it started.” —Hana Kaloudis, sophomore

“I would tell my grandchildren that I was awfully bored during the pandemic and thus learned a lot. I taught myself how to cook because I was tired of my mom making me eat the same three dishes. I learned that staying inside is kind of fun sometimes. I watched a lot of shows but also did things like paint and even workout.” ––Ankki Dong, freshman

“I got COVID once, but I was lucky that I was able to recover fast. And most importantly, if I can survive a global pandemic, then you can survive not being on your phone for five seconds.” ––Demir Dupljak, freshman

“It was more tiring than you'd think.” ––Victor Veytsman, junior

“I would say it was horrible, and they should make safer conditions so it doesn’t happen again. Zero out of five stars on Yelp.” ––Anthony Ragone Moletteri, junior

“I will tell my grandchildren that the pandemic made us all stronger. It taught us independence, how to be resilient, and how to fight.” ––Sajia Athai, junior

“Before the pandemic, I wasn’t really in touch with God. That’s the most important thing that happened to me [...] Another interesting thing was I didn’t go out for one year, since I was going through so much [that] I just needed a break and to shut myself out of the world.” ––Rafatune Myma, sophomore

“My room was no longer an escape from the outside world. Instead, getting out was an escape from the outside world which had set up shop in my room.” ––Jordan Gray, senior

“It was hard. There were news articles about how there was collective trauma, increased anxiety, and stress. We always celebrate the good stuff and not the bad stuff. They celebrated 70 percent of vaccination with fireworks, but the hard things, such as not being there for funerals, were not highlighted.” ––Katherine Zhao, sophomore

“It’s hard not socializing with anyone. I couldn’t see my friends, and I had to adapt to a new way to do my work. I needed to find motivation to finish my work.” ––Giridhar Bonu, sophomore

“Life in the pandemic will either be one of the best times of your life or one of the worst. For me, it was a little bit of both. I’ve always struggled with my mental health, but the first couple of months in quarantine [were] a new low for me. I lost the energy and willpower to attend class, complete assignments, and even participate in activities I usually enjoyed. However, it was also a period of self-reflection, self-love, and self-growth, and I genuinely appreciate the person I’ve become today. I’ve changed so much in character, and I’m finally reaching my full potential as an individual to become the best version of myself. I went through my fair share of relationships, made lots of new friends, joined more extracurriculars, and acquired leadership positions to pursue my interests. It’s definitely been a rocky journey, but I have no regrets.” ––Ashley Tian, junior

“You have to make your own happiness. No one else is going to do it for you.” –– Krista Proteasa, junior

“One thing would be how going out was considered an event. You didn’t go out just because you felt like it. You needed a super good reason, and you knew it was a thing that wouldn’t repeat itself for a while.” ––Eugenia Ochoa, sophomore