Opinion | 12 Teenagers on What They Would Ask Their 40-Year-Old Selves

On it: Colleges are very expensive. A lot of people get a lot of student loan debt. So I think one of the biggest things is, apply yourself now and do well, and apply for scholarships and get a lot of your tuition paid for.

Gabby: I think it’s the stress of having to know that the future is coming and that you have to really be prepared for it. You have to start acting more like an adult than a kid. Transitioning to that is scary.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro: I want to ask how, if at all, Covid has changed you personally. Does anyone have any thoughts about how the last two years of the pandemic has changed you?

Jackie: When the pandemic started, my mental health was going bad, being stuck in the house and not being able to go out. But now that the mandates are being lifted, and we’re able to go out more, it definitely helped my mental health.

Gabby: During the pandemic, my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer, and so her immunity was really low. And I think that was really stressful on my entire family, because it was hard because it was already stressful enough. And then you have to add this portion into it. So it just put a lot of stress on us, because we all just wanted to be safe. You had to isolate yourself away from everyone, because you do not want to get her sick.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro: And how is it now?

Gabby: It’s a lot better. She had her surgery, and they got it all out. And all of us are fully vaccinated, and all my friends are. So it’s definitely a lot easier now. But it was definitely very stressful before.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Anyone else have a story about Covid and how it felt?

On it: For me, it was realizing that I really do need to take school seriously. When it was virtual, it was really hard to sit behind a computer screen for eight hours and just learn when you have so many things that can distract you. At one point, our school district said that from this point on, your grade can no longer drop. I feel like that was the green light for a lot of people to say, we’re not going to do anything anymore. And I definitely think that impacted how much you really learned in that school year, which made it difficult for the upcoming school year.

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