‘I MISS BEING A TEENAGER’

Prowl reporter’s nostalgic look at the emotional impact of being quarantined

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Mia Baxter

PHS junior Mia Baxter (right) and sophomore Bayley Kokkeler take a selfie while driving around town. 

Pandemic-induced nostalgia: A sentimental longing for things that hardly seemed to matter a month ago. A wistful affection for the simple things in life. Nostalgia for something we will have again, but no one knows when. There is no word to describe this phenomenon, but we are all living through it.

It is crazy to think just over a month ago I was getting called into the office to discuss my less than impressive attendance and now, I’m not even allowed to show up. You’d think for someone like me this would be a dream come true, but I miss school.

I miss walking into Mrs. Bennett’s first period class seconds before the tardy bell rang. What she viewed as a character flaw, I viewed as a challenge. Casually walking past the office and sprinting once I turned the corner to the purple pod became part of my daily routine. On days my plan did not go accordingly, I miss taking my walk of shame down to the office. Sure I got a tardy slip, but I was always greeted with comforting banter from Mrs. Ackley and Mrs. Walsh. They didn’t even question why I was late; they knew it was because I had woken up 10 ten minutes before school started. 

I miss the simple things in life. I miss petting random puppies on the street and hugging my grandma. I miss movie nights and late night drives. I miss pointless trips to Maverick and star-gazing for hours on end. To put it simply, I miss being a teenager. ”

— Mia Baxter, Prowl reporter and PHS junior

I miss third period chemistry with my best friend. The way we scribbled down notes having no idea what they meant. The confusion in our eyes as a new topic was introduced. I miss singing our hearts out to Mr. Smith’s Pandora station and our pointless conversation about worms on a string, when we should have been discussing organic compounds. 

I miss journalism. Don’t let the fact that I am getting a journalism grade for this fool you into thinking this is fake. I miss waking up and knowing every day during sixth hour I had a safe place to go. A place I was welcomed with open arms. I miss Mr. Cappiello’s encouraging words and advice. The way he encouraged me to pour my soul and brutal truth into my writing. The awkward side hugs and the New York accent. I miss the staff. Having the opportunity to be a part of something bigger.

But school isn’t the only thing I miss.

I miss the simple things in life. I miss petting random puppies on the street and hugging my grandma. I miss movie nights and late night drives. I miss pointless trips to Maverick and star-gazing for hours on end. To put it simply, I miss being a teenager. 

This quarantine has taught me to embrace the little victories. To reach out to those in need. To love fiercely. It is a constant reminder to  appreciate all we have and not take this life for granted.