I think I will remember this time as the biggest time for self-growth. I’ve had this time to really reflect on myself and prioritize mental health, and other things like that. I think for me this will be like a marking point for when I started feeling better about myself.
I’ve always been a procrastinator to a certain extent, but this year has just been like, I don’t want to do any of my work I just want to do pretty much anything. I push things a lot, I’d always make sure everyone thinks everything is fine on the outside like, yeah I’m doing great I have all of these classes and blah blah blah, but I was just like wrecked on the inside. I found it hard to do pretty much every little thing, and I didn’t understand why.
I didn’t realize that, no matter what, there was no way I could have done any of the things I wanted to without getting help first. Now that I’m getting help and now that I know it’s wrong, I’m like oh okay so I have to learn how to forgive myself also and be like, it’s okay, it’s not your fault. It’s like, things happen that’s the way it is. We just have to move forward, and that’s my big thing. I actually mean that, because I would say things like that earlier but then I’d be like I don’t mean that I hate this right now. But I’m happy, I can be in the headspace and actually mean the words I’m saying.
I feel more self-confident with myself which is something that I’ve been working on but I finally feel like I’ve achieved it and just feel comfortable in my own skin.
If I wasn’t at school I was usually at work. I worked four to five times a week and I worked about six or seven hours so when I came home I just did work or sleep.
I personally chose to work that many hours for the goal of traveling. I love traveling. I’m a huge travel-head. I always work a bunch and when I save up I like to take long breaks and trips either in a car or a plane with friends and family. When I worked that many hours it was for my goal for the summer.
[This summer] I had a trip to go to China with a friend of mine. We had this whole plan and it was three months planned out. For 3 months I worked to a point where I worked like 40 hours a week. I would do double shifts. I’d do night shifts. I worked all these hours to go on the trip and I saved the amount of money I needed but then COVID-19 came and destroyed everything.
[This summer] I’m planning on working on my other goals. Like, I’m trying to learn Spanish…I’m trying to focus on language because I think that would benefit me for traveling in the future and that is just my number one goal to use any free time to benefit me in the long run.
There are a lot of places in Vermont I want to go. I’ve been going around and finding new hiking trails, and seeing what trails I can take. Every morning I either go outside for a walk or a hike. I try to go on my hikes when most people aren’t outside, so in the night time or the morning. I’m just exploring Vermont because there are a lot of places here I can see.
I don’t like being cooped up. I just can’t handle it. I thought though this would be great like, oh I’ll be on my computer watching shows and having me time, but is the polar opposite. Like I need to have interaction. I need to go outside and I need to keep myself busy.
Note (via email before interview): This will be Cosmo and his mom (Scarlett) in the interview. Our experience of the quarantine may be quite different from others, Cosmo lives with Down Syndrome and receives different educational services during this time. But we would be so happy if you could include our experience.
Cosmo: We do [school] online and it’s just one person and me. It is fun.
Scarlett: School is very important to us. He has a schedule, a very tight schedule so he has math and reading and science and P.E. and speech therapy because Cosmo needs speech therapy and we even have Unified Sports once a week.
Scarlett: I think, am I right Cosmo, that you really love learning?
Cosmo: I do! I love learning.
Cosmo: The best thing was my birthday. There was a big car parade in front of my house.
Scarlett: They made a big car parade, all his teachers and his helpers made a big car parade for him.
Cosmo: But I miss Mayele.
Scarlett: The hardest part is he misses his best friend.
Cosmo: I have his number and I will call him. We like to call.
Scarlett: They have a band together. [Holds up album] that is their latest album, that’s his friend Mayele who plays trumpet and guitar and Cosmo plays the trombone and is the lead singer [holds up CD] and that’s the second CD. It’s very hard to make music because we are missing our lead guitar player.
Scarlett: The band had a lot of gigs booked and they were all canceled and that was really hard.
Cosmo: Really hard.
To listen to the latest album “Beat the Virus” from Cosmo and Mayele’s band, “The Professors of Mystery” click the link below
In the beginning [quarantine] was definitely a burden because I was freaking out about my exams…I had this whole mapped out next two months, and that just got thrown out the window. Scheduling is kind of how I cope with my anxiety so it just got really really bad in the beginning where I was just like, I’m losing my junior year.
I like structure and that sort of thing, but I usually do so much that impacts my mental health and sleep schedule. I really do like packed schedules because it doesn’t leave time for boredom or thinking about all things that I don’t need to think about.
But I’ve noticed myself getting more sleep and just feeling happier in general because the stress has been taken away. Like, this would have been finals in AP exams, and two sports, and all of that in one and so I was just prepared for a very very stressful last couple of months but it’s been strangely sort of relaxing.
I can just make my own routines that revolve more around self care and that sort of thing instead of just wake up, go to school, go to extracurriculars, come home, do homework, go to sleep at midnight.
I’ve been able to get to try so many new little hobbies. Like baking, I’m not a good baker but I try, or doing more art, and reading, and writing more….I feel like I have time for me instead of focusing on the future, because that is kind of what I’m driven by. It’s nice to be able to do that, but also be able to just take time for myself and learn more about myself
I feel happier. Usually the only times I take time for myself is when I’m having a bad day. But now, I’m able to take time and have a good song that I like and just dance around my room and not feel like I’m wasting 3 minutes to do it.