• Maya Chavez

In their words: changes in quarantine


One last reflection on the wretched covid year — and the bright and positive surprises that emerged from it!


Tusitala decided to do an in-depth interview with two typical students to collect a couple of narratives of life — and the changes in life — during the strange last year. We present the reflections of Michelle Teh and Malena Sparano just as they recalled them, and in their own words. Enjoy this journey through the surprising lessons two students learned during pandemic life.


Michelle Teh:

  • “For a period of quarantine, I stayed on my own in San Francisco and I feel like I learned how to just be alone with myself. Which is kind of hard at first, I think I definitely grew up a lot.”

  • “I think as time went by, I think my mental health definitely went down.”

  • “It was harder to keep in touch with my friends and gradually I also sunk into a sad pit.”

  • “It’s really hard to maintain relationships over long distance.”

  • “I definitely became less and less motivated in my classes. Especially because on zoom it's really easy to lose motivation.”

  • “I think I actually became more extroverted, because I craved interactions with people.”

  • “I feel a lot more mature.”

  • “I feel a lot older.”

  • “More resilient, honestly, more grown up.”


Malena Sparano:

  • “I feel that before I had a taste that I liked and that was the extent of my love for music, but now I find myself tending to relate songs to specific things and put a lot more meaning into them.”

  • “I think my music taste incorporated a lot of 80/90s rock and earlier pop; however, now I still like those genres, but I find myself appreciating a broader spectrum now like classical and cultural music.”

  • “I think my music taste and routine changed gradually as quarantine progressed, and I had to assimilate my life to fit into the new "normal." For the most part, I was pretty aware of what I was doing, especially since spending most of the day with myself didn't give me much room to avoid it.”

  • “I think the time alone was beneficial to me in that without having such a drastic pause, not just for myself but the world, I was able to consciously look internally and at the world around me to see what I needed to do.”

  • “I've also expanded my political/social awareness and activism. Before quarantine, there was a lot I tried to educate myself on but I don't think I had truly grasped how to do it yet, and so, during quarantine, I was able to expand my education and find different ways I could help instead of being a bystander. I think having the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement catapult resources and educational tools into mainstream attention helped me, along with the continued information on all sorts of topics being brought forth. I was able to take what was very generously being given, such as educational resources, family/friends stories, and actions, and be able to apply them to my life to help people.”

  • “I will definitely miss the less stressed, sophomore kid I was, but I'm glad I've been able to grow into who I am now.”

  • “Now I'm taking a lot more care in the things I do.”


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