COVID Chronicles: I hope he gets what I got


My brother, Joon, called me yesterday for the first time in I don’t know how long.

He wanted to talk about college applications and what he should be doing to get in—community service, extra credit courses, bending the truth just a lil bit. You know, the likes of impressing a panel of adjudicators four times your intelligence and your elder. I remember the panic attacks like they just sent me spiraling yesterday.

He’s nervous.

With an entire year gap on his resume, there’s a lot he’s missed out on. An upcoming senior, there’s been no college visits, no informational , no face to face meetings with anyone looking at his student profile. Frankly, I’d be nervous too.

My junior year, I was so busy I barely kept my head on straight.

I was taking three AP courses, directing an acapella choir, working 20 hours a week, and volunteering whenever I had a free weekend. It was hell, but damn did my resume look killer.

I also got to go on my Junior class trip to Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York City. I had my first kiss on the same dingy Greyhound that drove us there.

I went to my junior prom. I danced with my girlfriends and took cheesy photo booth snaps. I tried my first drink and woke up with my first hangover.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not advocating for my already-brainless baby brother to go get smashed in a buddy’s basement off a sip of PBR, but I am genuinely sad for all the moments he’s missed.

With vaccines continuing to roll out in Maine, my hope is for Joon is that he doesn’t fear the year ahead. It’s going to be busier and more insane than I could’ve ever imagined for my senior year, but I hope he loves every second of it. I hope he lets himself — at least every once in a while — not know what’s going on and just be a teenager.

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