If there is any group I feel extra sorry for during this pandemic it is teenagers. I think the pandemic especially sucks for those aged from 15 to 18 who only get a few short years to be spreading their wings and finding their way in the world without their parents looking over their shoulders seeing their every move. Below is one 15 year olds experience of the pandemic and why it sucks! You can find other expats pandemic experiences here.

This whole pandemic sucks. It has been one bad experience after another and it feels like it’s never going to end. After being trapped inside for 23 hours a day the walls are closing in. I’ve not been able to see my friends, or do the things I actually like doing. And the fact that the rules are constantly changing does not help. What’s acceptable one week is endangering your community the next week. 

My rugby club has shut and opened twice already.  School opened fully after summer and is now shut. The shops seem to close down for two or three weeks at a time before re-opening. It feels like I am stuck in a never ending cycle of open, shut. 

This pandemic sucks.
Me hanging out with me

At the moment I can not see my friends at all. I talk to them online a lot, but it is just not the same. All I want is to be outside, doing things, but I can not. I turned 15 in September. This was supposed to be the year I gained more independence and roamed a bit freer. But no. 

2020 would have been the year that I would have been allowed to properly celebrate New Years Eve with my friends. Due to the pandemic, I was only able to have one friend over. It felt like I was missing out on something. But that something was not even happening, no one else was having a party either. 

Because the only way that I can interact with my friends is online, I want to spend all my time on my computer and my phone, but my parents aren’t so keen. It seems as if everyone is always staying up and doing more stuff and I always have to go to bed or on a walk or do chores. I feel like no one else has the restrictions that I have. Do you think everyone else thinks this too or is it just me? Are my restrictions really stricter? 

Now that I am spending all my time at home, I have a new appreciation for how annoying siblings can be. I am always fighting with my brother or sister over something small. We are five people sharing the same space all the time and two of those people always seem to go out of their way to bother me. 

The annoying siblings!

I have a problem too, I can not just leave them alone, because they are right there with me all the time within arms reach. Every little thing that they do bothers me. My sister talks too loud on calls to her friends, she has a dramatic delayed reaction to everything, my brother does his annoying voice when he is trying to be funny, he repeats the same jokes over and over again. I have become an expert at flicking them in the back of the head. It doesn’t achieve anything but I can’t help myself. 

I never loved school. The shift to learning online has only made it worse. It is so boring. I find it hard to focus on doing my work and find it even harder to make myself care about it. It is more of a chore than ever. I want to go back to school in person where the classes are better, giving me more motivation to actually get my work done. 

I really just want this whole thing to end. Pretty soon we will have been living like this for a year and who knows how much longer it will go on for. It seems that there is hope with the vaccine coming, but the end still feels a long way off. 

I get it. I know I am lucky my friends and family are all healthy and my parents have jobs that they can do from home. Still, it doesn’t stop me feeling like this pandemic sucks and by the time I get out of this cycle of open, shut I’ll have missed out on so much.

This story is part of a short series we are doing on unusual lockdown/pandemic stories. The rest of the stories are available here. We will be adding one a week for the next few weeks.

Hugo Nelson turned 15 in the middle of the pandemic. He is a third culture kid who was born in the UAE and has also lived in Qatar and Germany.