By Jess Barreto
Shit - Home with my thirteen year old brother and almost two year old sister, and parents all day! Lol just kidding, this quarantine has made me grateful to be part of such a loving family. Our fridge is full, we all get along and work as a team now more than ever. Our days consist of routines. We have school time from 9am to 3pm then my brother and I conduct baby school because we want our sister to be a genius, from 3-5pm. Then we rotate the day; we each make dinner. Between that there’s laughter, giggles, pranks, and sibling fights. Art is being made, challenges are being developed, ideas are being brain stormed, jokes are being told. Then before dinner or after dinner, we workout. We finish the night off with game night.
Although I’m fortunate to have such experiences, I know many young people are struggling, mentally, physically and academically.. This pandemic has made things very challenging for the youth - seniors who have been deprived of graduation and prom, college students like myself who won’t have the opportunity to walk in May, students who have to learn and conform to distant learning, the youth who live with toxic family members. School and after school activities were the escape from a reality they are now forced to live, and they are having to learn to survive now more than ever.
Having been a youth who grew up in the system and in institutions, my heart goes out to the kids who have no supportive family in a time like this. The ones who have mental health issues, and now more than ever are struggling. To the ones fighting housing insecurity; who have been kicked out of their dorms and are struggling to find a place to rest their head. It’s important in a time like this to give support whenever you can to whoever you can. To those struggling and battling behind closed doors I just want to say: you're stronger than you think. Although you may feel stuck or like nothing will change - every challenge, every struggle will only make you stronger.