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Hello, everyone! I am Sophie Wyckoff, a junior at Shakopee High School in Minnesota! I am pursuing my interest in journalism and poetry by taking classes in the Arts and Communication academy. I am involved in Student Council and manage our girls varsity hockey team! As well as, partaking in sports myself, by running track and field and playing tennis!
As you float stranded in the middle of the ocean, no one else in sight. Locked away from the outside world, prohibited accesses to any face to face contact. Alone. Drowning in a body of water as reckless waves continue to push you further down in the darkness. We lived what felt like normal life onshore, in the sand, no water nearby. Going to school five days a week, partaking in sporting events and extracurriculars, working a 9-5 job on the weekends to make a little extra money. We lived our normal life. Until everyone was unexpectedly thrown into the ocean, the waves from the water were fun at first. We'd only be in the water for a short time, vacation at most, a break from reality. It would all be done soon enough and life would return to our normal. But, as countless days passed, we began to feel isolated in the middle of the ocean. Nowhere to go and no new surroundings to see. As we roll into week 17 of our so-called “vacation”, we are drowning. The water begins pulling us in deeper and deeper down, drowning in nothing but our own thoughts and emotions. Mental health issues strick an ultimate high with 45% more people now struggling with these issues because of this ocean. As we take our last breath of normal life, the water drags us down into a dark, unknown place. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse, comes crashing down on us like the waves of the ocean eliminating our ability to even grasp a breath of our passed normal life. The waves continue to pummel in, one after another, crashing down harder by the second. Unemployment, increase in COVID numbers, even the death of loved ones, all strike you further down into the water. You are now the farthest down in the dark you've even been. Experiencing thoughts like never before. Just you, alone, in the middle of the bottom of the ocean, no grasp of what it feels like to breathe normal air. Day by day new waves push you down more into the dark waters but you are not even affected anymore. You don't struggle, don't try to even attempt to not sink down. You go into the darkness making no effort to fight the pain of drowning. Some days you get pushed onto the shore, a little light in your life. Life feels so surreal, there is not a worldwide pandemic, but instead just you and your best friend. A taste of what normal life once felt like, a day outside with friends, funny jokes with your mom, finally finishing that show you binge-watched, but no matter how hard you try to stay in that moment forever. How hard you fight back to get your normal again the waves always will pull you back into the water. Bring you back down into that darkness of the ocean, alone, again. As you reach the surface of the water you can see the horizon, you can see normal life again. The life that we took for such guaranteed but would do anything to be able to breathe a single breath of that normal life just once. But the uncertainty strikes your eyes like fear. Having absolutely no idea when you will be able to reach that horizon? How far away it is? When will life every be so-called normal again? When will we be able to make it back to the horizon? But you have to continue to swim to try to make it there, day by day, because no matter the uncertainty, we will make it to that horizon. No matter how long it takes or what roadblocks come your way, eventually, you will. You will make it to that horizon. Be able to breathe than normal air, onshore, with no waves to pull you into that darkness that once overtook your mind. Eventually, we will be normal again, do not let the fear and uncertainty overcome the optimism.