Emotional Roller Coaster

It was December 2020, officially a year has passed since this virus has shaken up the entire world. I was miserable, even before this whole pandemic started. However, as soon as it was made mandatory to wear masks, my life took a different turn. That meant, Covid officially hit Saudi Arabia, quickly spreading to my city. I have seen my close friends and relatives lose their family members. I just wish I could take away the pain my classmate's mother was feeling after losing almost all her siblings because of this virus. At some point, Covid was so near to us, just living two minutes away, both of my best friend's father were in the hospital battling for their life. Even though I didn't want to, I kept on imagining myself in their position. What if my father was on the hospital bed? I would quickly shake off that thought, because it scared me so much. This incident took my best friends away from me. After their fathers healed, I hate to bid my childhood buddy's farewell. The reason was painful. I had to also bid farewell to my late teenage life. What took away my last teenage years? My declining grades. I was delighted to hear I won't have to attend school in my final year of high school. Little did I know, online classes would be worse. I realized my attention span is similar to a gold fish! Couldn't stop myself reaching out for my phone. Tests, exams, participation, my determination all went downhill. My mental health became worse than it was. I have struggled with depression since very young, this time I had enough. I decided to try out therapy; must say wasn't an easy road. I come from a family that does not understand mental health. I didn't understand who, how or what to do? Miraculously, after searching for days I found a London-Based therapist. It was affordable, but I didn't have a job. I had to swallow my fears and call my brother whom I have not seen for five years. Surprisingly, he agreed, even though he just lost his job due to covid. Next thing was convincing my mom. It took loads of crying, fighting and mental breakdowns, but at the end she agreed. My sessions were online, so it didn't matter if she knew. However, I needed her to keep it a secret from my father. I knew this man would never understand. I started my therapy finally; it was difficult because my father was at home because of quarantine. I had to lower my voice and lock the door for around an hour every week. After fighting for myself for months, I eventually started getting better. Later, I graduated but I wasn't that happy. I flunked almost all my classes, I thought I didn't deserve to be happy on my graduation. Came back home, and just complete emptiness for a year. Each day went by thinking will any university accept me? How do you even apply first of all? I didn't know anything I was all alone. I didn't even know what I liked. Choosing a major was really tricky. It took me a year to finally pick one. In that one year, I saw almost all my classmates going all over the world for their studies. I was envious, because they seemed to figure out what they wanted to do in life. At one point, I just screamed enough! A change must be made. I taught myself self-love, because everybody will tell you to love yourself but no one will tell you how. Eventually, I succeeded. I also got accepted in one of the top universities, with sixty percent scholarship. I still can't believe it. Maybe, now I finally made my parents proud for once.

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Alissa Mak

Don't underestimate the power of young minds.

Hong Kong, China