When I say that social distancing isn’t easy, I speak from experience.
As soon as I heard that I would remain confined to my apartment for an undetermined length of time, I felt anxious and isolated.
However, the fact that even when I’m physically distancing myself, I’m not alone has comforted me. The truth is that even during this time, none of us is alone. In fact, thanks to modern technology, there are so many ways that we can still connect with our families and friends.
With the newfound courage this pandemic has given me, I’m actively reconnecting with friends I lost over the years. I’ve always wondered what those close friends from high school are up to now, but I worried that too many years passed since I lost touch with them, and they won’t respond. Now that we’re all stuck at home, though, I worked up the courage to finally reach out.
Obviously, some of these former friends never returned my texts. For every ignored text, though, I’ve received just as many gleeful greetings from old friends and even reconnected with former friends through video. Although contacting my former friends requires that I overcome my social anxiety, I love the clarity it provides.
Reaching out to others washes away years of questions and regret.
I understand that we all grow apart from our childhood friends as we enter adulthood, and that’s OK. However, I also love hearing about my friends’ successes and learning about their current lives. Some of my friends have even agreed to reconnect with me in person once this pandemic ends, and I can’t wait to see them!
Through this virtual reconnection, I’ve also learned just how much I still have in common with many of my high school friends.
I learned that one friend lives just a few blocks away from me. I even found out that my former best friend works for the same company, just in a different department. Although I can’t believe that I let these friends slip away, I love that after all these years, we can pick up right where we left off without even skipping a beat.
My childhood comes back to life as I reconnect with the people who made my most formative years better. I find myself laughing with the girls who I once imagined being my bridesmaids. I play video games with the guys who made me an “honorary bro.” We’ve made the long days of quarantine and social distancing fly by through reminiscing. In fact, I truly believe that my friends and I have rebuilt bonds that will now last for life.
Putting yourself out there can feel terrifying anytime, so why not reach out when we’re already facing widespread panic? The COViD-19 pandemic is one of the scariest, most stressful situations most of us will ever know in our lifetimes. However, we all get up every day and take on whatever comes our way with strength and hope. I truly believe that we are stronger together, so now is the perfect time to strengthen bonds with old friends and to support each other through this crisis.