Harshita Avirneni

This past weekend I celebrated my 18th birthday in the confines of my home. It was raining, and all I could do during the 5 a.m. storm was think about how I was 18 years old. I was an adult. And for my gift this year, the universe handed me an entire pandemic on a silver platter. 

If I am being completely honest, on that rainy Saturday, I was awake from midnight  all the way until 11:59 p.m.. I started off my birthday with my wonderful family, as they gave me my dream present: a 33-year-old baby blue typewriter. This was seven minutes after midnight.  After that, it wasn’t hard enjoying every minute of my first day of adulthood. 

I did absolutely nothing the entire day. I ate food, watched some TV, texted my wonderful friends and spent the day sitting on the couch with my family. It was nothing special. It was truly just a lazy day, spent indoors on a rainy day. And it was probably one of the best birthdays I could’ve had. 

The reason I enjoyed this birthday so much is because I had time to think about what I want to do during my days as an 18-year-old. I started to make  a list of all the places I want to go and all the things I want to do in my first year of being an adult. Whether it’s having a small picnic in the park with my friends or going on a West Coast road trip with my family, I’m adding one thing each day we are in quarantine. That way when it ends, I will have a full list of things I want to do and places I want to go and the people I want to see. It also helps with having something to look forward to amidst the boredom of staying at home all day.  

Although the quarantine has really made senior year feel awful, with the cancellation of prom and the probable cancelling of graduation, it has been humbling in a way. I find myself appreciating simple things I would have never noticed before the quarantine. The sun feels brighter, the world seems bigger, and it has made me realize that there is so much to do. Being in this quarantine has made me think back to all the times my friends and I sat around for hours not knowing what to do, when really, there are millions of things to do. I want to go back to all those times and tell myself, “Do something! There is a pandemic coming!” 

But there is nothing we can do about the past anymore, so I am finding every way to enjoy this quarantine and look forward to all things I will be able to do afterwards: reading, podcasts, playing the piano, texting friends, cooking, cleaning, etc.. These are all things I’m enjoying more and more everyday because I don’t want to remember year 18 as a regret. And when this quarantine ends, I will no longer by 18 and indoors. I will be 18 and excited, starting off adulthood in the best way possible.


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