Sophia, Saginaw

Storyteller: Jaden Derleth

Sophia first heard of COVID-19 in the last trimester of her senior year. What she thought was going to be three weeks off of school turned into 3 months off of school. Sophia attended Swan Valley High School and was a member of the class of 2020. Like many of the graduates of 2020, Sophia lost a lot because of the pandemic. Things like her senior prom, graduation, or her last season of track, were no longer an option because of COVID restrictions.

Sophia also lost her job as a waitress at the beginning of the pandemic. She spent her days at home. This resulted in negative effects on her mental health. Pre pandemic, Sophia had already struggled with her mental health. Leaving her house, hanging out with friends, and even going to work was what she used to help cope with these issues. Social distancing made these unachievable and she wasn’t able to use her normal coping mechanisms anymore. In the summer months of 2020, her work opened back up and she was also able to safely hang out with her friends again.

Sophia has learned a lot through this pandemic. One major thing she learned was not to take things for granted. Even the small things in life like lunch table conversations, forgetting her locker combination after a break from school, and even hearing the daily announcements on the intercom at school. Sophia grew to be even more independent than she already was thanks to the pandemic. She says her work ethic has improved immensely and she has a new appreciation for essential workers. Her one complaint about working is her face getting hot and sweaty from wearing a mask through her shifts. Overall, Sophia is glad she went through what she did because she believes it made her stronger as an individual.

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