Covid experience taught me plenty about myself


Honesty Thomas

By Honesty Thomas, Contributing Writer

If at the beginning of sophomore year you would’ve told me we were going to be in a global pandemic by the end of the year and it was going to change my life forever, I would’ve called you a psychopath.
What we all thought was an early spring break turned into something that changed our lives forever. It’s something my generation has never seen before. None of us, especially me, thought the coronavirus would ever reach the United States. I also never thought it would be so deadly and cause so much hurt to people’s families.
In the early stages of covid, I hated quarantine with a passion. We obviously had a lot of free time when everyone was in quarantine, and I hated staying home. I’m a very social person. I like to have human interaction. I’m a person who is hardly ever home. I’m usually at a friend’s house or hanging out with friends.
Although I hated quarantine at the beginning, I decided to stop sulking and start being productive with all my unwanted free time. Everyone knows the world was a crazy place at the time, so I started to educate myself about politics and other issues going on during the time. I learned to not go off of information on Facebook and to do my own research and gather information from reliable sources.
I also chose to educate myself about the history of our country. I educated myself about the oppression that minorities in our country have gone through and what they continue to go through. When you live in a small town like ours. It’s easy to go along with what your family or friends say is right. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t that type of person. Being taught how to form your own opinion is really important. I wish that was taught in our schools, but that’s another topic for a different paper.
Older people tend to say that our generation is soft, and we get offended by everything. I don’t disagree, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing either. More things were acceptable in the past that shouldn’t have been, but that’s just how things were. I think our generation now holds people accountable for their actions whenever they say or do something disrespectful. I don’t think older generations agree with how we do things now because they were raised differently.
My favorite lesson earned in this dark period was self love. Living in a small town, and being one of the few African-Americans to live here, really had an effect on me. It played a big part in how I viewed myself. When I was younger, people would make comments about my skin color. I always looked at myself negatively so I would wish to be lighter. People would always tell me that my hair was much prettier straight or when it was done instead of my natural kinky hair. As a result of that I would perm and straighten my hair. That caused a lot of damage to my hair and I was still insecure. During quarantine, I started to embrace my natural hair and I came to the realization that nothing is wrong with my skin color and that my skin is beautiful. Now I can say that I’m 100 percent confident with my appearance.
The most important thing I learned from this experience is to never take your family or friends for granted. I started to cherish the small moments with my loved ones during this time. Things I would normally argue about with my family, I learned to avoid to prevent any confrontation. Many people are losing their loved ones and not even getting the opportunity to say goodbye. Fortunately, I haven’t had to go through something like that. Therefore I choose to spend my time wisely. Because just like covid, you never know what is going to happen.
So, even during this horrible virus that I still hate, I’m very thankful for the life lessons I’ve learned. It was a real eye opener. I’ve changed so much since the beginning of the pandemic, hopefully for the better. I’m more educated, and I have changed the way that I look at life. I hate what covid has done to the world, but I’m thankful for the life lesson this pandemic has taught me.

(Honesty Thomas is a senior at Harlan County High School and a student in John Henson’s English/writing class)