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Lockdown started when I was a sophomore in high school, but I had already felt trapped before that. Class itself wasn’t overwhelming, but because of my studies, I had begun to lose the friends I had had since elementary. And by the time of the pandemic, it felt like I lost all of my friends entirely. So being at home finishing school was difficult, it was isolating in almost every way possible. I had a single friend who I felt was really there for me and I am extremely grateful for her. But when we went back to school my junior year, I didn’t see her much (hybrid schedule, different grades, etc.). I had no desire to stay at school anymore, even though I loved to learn. Luckily my studies had paid off and I had enough credits to graduate early. But I certainly wasn’t read to go to college, especially since the pandemic was still at large. So I took a gap year, working full-time in the fall and traveling abroad with a program during the spring. Work kept me busy and my trip abroad opened the world up right before my eyes. I met so many people who I love dearly, which gave me hope that I could continue to make true friends. Experiencing new things sparked my passion for learning again, giving me fresh new eyes when I came to LCC. Right now I am a student, working, and traveling safely and I love every minute of it. Not only am I more secure with myself, but I am more secure with others. Covid taught me that you can only control your own actions and make the best out of what you have.