9 Things Teens Want Adults to Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic

1. We don’t want any more zoom calls and webinars. We stare at videos all day, every day. We appreciate that you want to give us stuff to do, but more online lectures just have us checked out. 

2. Please help us have fun. We’re all so stressed out— we need to smile and laugh, it makes a huge difference. 

3. Just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we actually have more time. Suddenly, we’re being asked to do more chores and look after younger siblings. Not all of our parents are home, and many teachers are giving us even more homework because there’s less class time and we have no extracurriculars. 

4. We actually need the structure that school provides; there’s a reason we go there (even if we say we don’t want to). It supports us in learning and getting work done and it’s a tremendous amount of work! Without that structure, it’s much harder to stay on top of things, and assigning material without structure can be overwhelming.

5. It’s really hard to work from home. Everyone is in the same space, and we’re constantly being interrupted by siblings, parents, and pets. The biggest difficulty isn’t the regular distractions of home (Netflix, games, and social media), it’s that everything is just so loud! 

6. Job loss affects us too! We have after school jobs, and most of us planned to work all summer or have internships. Many of us rely on summer jobs to have money for college, and we’re very aware we are going to be graduating college during a recession. It’s scary and stresses us out. 

7. When you talk about losing your job, or hospitals running out of supplies, it scares us. We aren’t kids, we know things are bad and going to get worse before they get better. 

8. College is even more stressful now: we can’t do tours, decisions have to be made blind, and with bumped back decision dates, waitlists are months of limbo-hell. Not to mention that we have no idea what Fall will bring. 

9. We lost so much we worked hard for this year: theater productions and senior projects, graduation, homecoming, prom, spring sports leagues, internships, and summer jobs. It’s more than just being stuck inside. We aren’t leaving four years of hard work on our terms, we’re leaving in panic and without closure or validation.

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