Teenagers are struggling in quarantine. This student is giving them an outlet.

Lauren Davis '23 is helping provide a digital platform for young adults to reflect on the challenges they're facing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lauren DavisPhoto/Lauren Davis '23

Lauren Davis '23

As the coronavirus became a global pandemic and life around the world changed drastically, Lauren Davis '23 and her friends noticed a trend.

“We felt like the young adult voice was not being recognized, as if these voices weren’t valid,” Davis said.

They decided to do something about it. 

Davis, along with childhood friends and acquaintances from her hometown of Sandy Hook, Connecticut, founded The Quaranteen Collection, a website to air their feelings and provide a platform for other young people. The site is an outlet to share perspectives and focus on critical issues that are further complicated by the coronavirus, like racism and mental health

“We really felt our age demographics’ needs weren’t being met,” Davis said. “In recognition of what we’re going through, we wanted to give young people a voice and allow everyone to get out how they feel. There are many sides to quarantine.”

The content consists of essays submitted by students, from middle school to college, that are authentic reactions and perspectives about COVID-19 and quarantine in the students’ own words. Common themes in the collection include navigating the switch to virtual learning, challenges with home life and the strain on teenagers’ friendships and social lives. 

“There are a few general themes, but ultimately there’s a desire to make one’s own story heard,” Davis added. “One of our goals is to give people a cathartic way to think through all that’s going on. Submitting a post can be therapeutic. And these reflections have been heartfelt.”

The Quaranteen Collection has posted about 50 submissions so far, and there’s a growing backlog as word about the platform spreads, Davis said. 

“These issues are real,” Davis said. “Many young people haven’t had a chance to process it, to think through how they feel about it and present their side to the world. We want to help and empower others to share.”

The following is an excerpt from Davis’ entry in The Quaranteen Collection titled “A Shaky Transition

“Now that I’m able to think more clearly, I can see that quarantine is really a special opportunity in some ways. When was I ever gonna have quality time like this with my parents and brother again? It means so much to me to have this time to spend with them and my dog, in the town that I grew up in even if I can only drive around. I’m comfortable here, around people I love, and frankly I’ve always been socially anxious so it’s pretty nice to not have any expectations on me to go out. 

“In some ways, this isolation really sucks. We all know this. But I’ve found that it’s an unbelievable opportunity too at this time in my life to really sit down and think through things I haven’t had the time to, to appreciate my family and the friends I’ve made, and most of all appreciate that I’m so unbelievably lucky to be in the position I am in. I am happy to be home in a safe place with my family who loves each other, I miss school (who would’ve thought I’d say that ever), I have friends I miss every second, and I’m comfortable with where I am and with myself. 

“Five years ago, I never would have thought that I could make it to where I am now, which is something I think about a lot. I’m so amazed at it, and rather than lament not being at school right now, I’m reminding myself all the time to just be excited for when we get to go back and how great it will feel to have everything be normal again. Everything has its purpose, quarantine is no different. It’s just up to us to make it happen.”

Categories: General, Student Life

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