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At the end of May, I turn 20. 

I will admit, I am a little bit scared to shed the teenage girl title. 

I feel like truly have grown to appreciate being a teenage girl within the past year of quarantine. I will admit that I am sad I was unable to spend my 19th year in a normal setting, but I was given a year of reflection and growth. 

So, as my last year of being a teenager comes to a close, I wanted to compile some of my thoughts in ending this chapter in my life in a pandemic. 

The major thing I learned about myself that I want to bring into my twenties is the power of compromise. 

Before the pandemic, my greatest passion and hobby was attending concerts. I went to concerts whenever I could, my passion for live music being insatiable. I loved meeting my favorite bands and discovering new artists. Here is a picture of me and Fredo Disco, one of my favorite bands, in the fall of 2019. Also, check out the USF sweater, go bulls! 

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When the pandemic hit, I was lost. I felt like so much of my identity was wrapped up in the things I did, like going to concerts, or even going to the movies (where I went three times a week before COVID-19 hit), that I didn’t know what to do. I spent my teen years creating this foundation of my interests, and it’s honestly been really hard not being able to experience them the same way. However, not impossible. 

The pandemic forced me to compromise and take the opportunities to continue the things I loved to do, but from home. For instance, with concerts, I spent more time finding new artists through social media, like Tik Tok and watching their videos/live streams. Now, when concerts resume, there’s so many more bands I can check out live! With movies, I took this year and finally watched movies I have been planning to for years. In fact, I now have an unexpected love for Québécois film!

In this year of reflection, I also was able to reignite some of my old passions, like reading. With spending so much time at home, I spent a lot of my time buying books on ThriftBooks, or later in the pandemic, picking up books at the library. After spending years of not reading regularly, I now have a stack of books in my room of everything I have read and what I’m planning on reading next. 

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Overall, while the last year of my teen years was completely unexpected, I learned so much about myself. Through this time, I was able to strengthen my passion for the things I love, while also reintroducing things from when I was younger. This year truly taught me to embrace the unexpected as much as you can, finding light in an overall stressful situation. 


I feel that I am going into my twenties with insight and introspection. I want to take the things I learned about myself and life from this past year into this new chapter of my life. I am proud of myself and the way I have grown in the past year, and all my teen years. I have learned patience and acceptance for things out of my control. I believe that the unknown can be very revealing, and I am excited to begin this new time in my life.

Hi! My name is Penelope, but everyone calls me Penny. I am an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida majoring in marketing and integrated PR and advertising. I'm a proud, communicative Gemini, who is excited to share on Her Campus! Some of my interests include watching movies (I consider myself an 80's movie aficionado), listening to music, going to concerts, and following hockey.
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