I have found Lacrosse, new friends, and a best friend

The year has been the worst of them all but somehow also the best. I often find myself weighing the losses of COVID-19 over the things I have found. Everyone has experienced devastating losses but almost everyone has also found something they wouldn’t have without the pandemic.
I visit my grandparents once a year, well usually. Every July me and my mom would always drive out to Arizona for the 4th of July. There were always parties on the street, fairs, and my grandma even did a jewelry show. The whole year I waited and anticipated going because I could not wait to see the friends I had made in Arizona and eat cupcakes and brownies while we waited for fireworks, but then there was a shutdown. With my grandparents being at high risk my opportunity to have fun and see people who I truly cared about was taken away from me. I was heartbroken and felt defeated that I couldn’t do anything about it. The one thing I waited so long for was gone, They had an indoor street party and my grandma sent me videos but I didn’t feel the same. I lost the ability to hug my grandparents, race down waterslides, run around with friends who only see me in Arizona, and I knew that ability was taken away for another 365 days.
I remember waking up to my 6:00 alarm and seeing all of the text messages on my phone saying “school is cancelled for a week!” I jumped up with excitement and ran to my mom to tell her the news. I went to school for the half day, as my teachers showed the whole class how to use zoom and were all saying “I will see you in a few weeks!” Nobody really knew what was happening and everyone was making jokes about it, it wasn’t until the 5th or 6th week when I started realizing how much I missed going to school. I kept telling myself I would see my friends again and we would have a fun end of the year party but that never happened. I lost my 6th grade year and I lost the best part of it. I lost touch with my friends, the classes were shorter, and I couldn’t talk to the friends I used to do projects with. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to my classmates and I felt devastated and defeated.
In a world of craziness I finally found the people I can call my best friends. Before the pandemic I was in many toxic friendships and felt like I was being used for every second of it. They would make fun of me while around others but laugh with me when alone. With coronavirus I realized how draining mentally those friends were and how much they were holding me back and shaping me into someone I wasn’t. After a while I got closer to a group of friends I was pushed away from because of toxic people holding me back. I quickly joined that group and now our friend group of 4 are the closest friends I have had in a long time. I feel relieved that I finally found my people and got away from others who didn’t actually want to be friends. Now I am so much happier and feel more supported with them by my side.
My stepfather proposed to my mom in summer of 2020 which meant a whole new family. My stepsister is 8 years older than me and we never really took the time to get to know each other with her in college and me in school. Although when the pandemic began, and her college closed she moved in with us. We became inseparable and I found a long lasting friendship with her that I wouldn’t trade anything for and she is my best friend. I am so happy we became closer and feel like I have someone who has my back.
I have played lacrosse since 3rd grade but kept giving up from frustration and thinking I wasn’t good enough for the team I never quit but I never really tried. I got a lacrosse goal and bounce back net for my birthday in April and found myself practicing for hours everyday. I quickly gained more skills and found myself trying out for a private team in August. Little did I know I would become the team captain and truly find a love for the sport. Now I can’t go a few days without practicing in my backyard or bouncing the ball with my stick in my room. I am overloaded with joy that I found this hobby over the pandemic.
COVID-19 was something nobody was expecting and left heart shattering losses around the world. Although after spending over a year in a house living the same day over and over you eventually learn things about yourself that you never knew before. COVID-19 is something so many people wish would disappear but I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world.

Madison C

Location: Manhattan Beach

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