P.M., a teen in Kanpur, India

This post is in collaboration with covid9teen

Kanpur, India:

Hi, this is Pratham from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh in India. I am presently in my senior year(12th grade) of high school. I aspire to be an entrepreneur and a lawyer and will be appearing for tests like the CLAT and the LSAT in the year 2021. My story in lockdown comprises various aspects or phases, if you may. I’ll try to sum it up in the most precise way possible. Hope you have a good read ahead:)

I remember I was returning home after visiting a dear friend, a school senior, the evening a one-day curfew was announced in the country, it was maybe around March 23rd. At the time it wasn’t a big deal, but we did know about the coronavirus spreading like wildfire throughout the world and how volatile the situation was. On my way back home I also met with a classmate of mine for some coffee and pasta. Our 11th-grade results had been announced a couple of days back and we had passed (to my surprise, xD) with decent marks so we were just gossipping about our batch. We discussed a bit about the distant cases of coronavirus in the country, and my friend then dropped me home. At night, Prime Minister Modi himself announced the curfew on live TV.

April was more of a blur. The first two weeks we digested the lockdown, made arrangements for essential commodities, the Navratri (see Google) were underway so we used to wake up early in the morning for the rituals. In my daily life, waking up early did not make it on top of the priority list. But since it was a custom during the Navratri, I obviously had to. I got inspired by a YouTuber to adopt a proper exercise routine and a diet plan and so I started waking up a bit early and exercising before the morning rituals and eating about right. This changed my life in a drastic manner, I must say. Towards the end of the month, my coachings for law entrance tests had started. So I had a proper routine in front of me which actually gave me a proper aim and things to look forward to.

May wasn’t as eventful. The workout regime went on. School had started online so there was something to add to the routine as we had the first round of tests at the end of the month. I developed a habit of reading the newspaper daily. Also, I started going through some of my old books like the biography of Steve Jobs(my idol), etc.

June was a bit intense. The workload from the school as well as the law school coaching increased. I actually started waking up at 4:00 am and going to bed early. I started having just two meals a day as part of my diet. I did not have a definite schedule, but I had to-do lists at the time. I admit my productivity increased but there was a significant lack of time.

Then came July. I joined The Tidings Blog as an intern around mid-July. I was absolutely delighted to work with people who shared the same interests as me. There was a time crunch, as I was working at the blog, preparing for law school and I had a second round of tests at school. I decided to take Sunday as an ‘off-day’ because everything was really tiring. I now had to start assigning time to my to-do tasks.

Enter August. This one day I was just splurging and surfing through YouTube when I came across a video titled – “Tips to Boost Productivity”. I learned about Block-Scheduling. It is a method in which you block out time from your day for specific tasks on your to-do list. The YouTuber used Google Calendar for this. I felt as if I had found a gold-mine. A gold-mine of time to be more precise!! Everything started going on smoothly. An exact time for precise tasks. I also developed a habit of journaling around this time. I started playing chess at the end of the month. So every Saturday my friend and I play chess and chill throughout the night on our discord server. 

I would conclude my journey in quarantine by saying I grew up mentally and emotionally during this phase. I am finishing this on September 6, 2020, and still have absolutely no idea if or when we would find a “silver bullet” for COVID-19 but I am absolutely grateful for this time and the growth I’ve achieved in this time:)

[submitted on 11/6/2020]

Learn more about the LiQ and the covid9teen collaboration here

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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