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Covid-19 lockdowns, the introvert’s dream. Not going out in public for anything that isn’t necessary, work and school are all virtual and parties are almost obsolete, but how do lockdowns affect the extrovert community? Not being able to see or talk to anyone wouldn’t be too fun for them, and a lot of these people took a serious mental toll due to these new rules in place. So, to find out just how much these restrictions and lock-downs affected extroverted people, I asked Jenna MacDonald, one of the most social people I know, a series of questions regarding the situation. Here is what she had to say: 

Zelia: How has Covid and not being able to see anyone affected your mental health?

Jenna: It affected me differently compared to what I think I had expected. At first, I tried romanticizing my life, making every day count by getting dressed and setting a to-do list. Eventually that got worn out though and wasn’t satisfying enough anymore. My experience was a little different from the average person though, as my mother was working in the field hospital at the time which was scary enough, and I spent every day alone in my house; it was different from my friends who had siblings or parents who were kept home. I found that my mental health was different from what it would have been in a normal world. I found myself attending therapy when school started up again because I was unable to get out of bed and stare at a computer all day. 

Zelia: Do you feel that Covid has changed the way you feel about being in social situations? 

Jenna: Yes, I do feel as though Covid has changed my view on social situations. Ninth grade was my only normal school year, and I spent all of it meeting new people, trying new things, and keeping busy. I would confidently say I was an extrovert, but after Covid hit, I found that I went backwards. I was able to see some people during some of the pandemic, but they were people I knew already and I could be myself in front of. In September 2020 I began attending a new school, I didn’t know anybody at the time, and normally this would not have been so stressful for me. Not only was it difficult with Covid restrictions, I genuinely found myself incapable of introducing myself to other kids. This also took place at my first job, and I kept asking myself, “What happened to me?”. I missed my old self.

Zelia: What are some ways you got around the boredom of being stuck at home? 

Jenna: Being stuck at home alone sounds like a teenager’s dream. For me, it was just that, but only for a few short months. In the early stages of the pandemic, I wasn’t even allowed to leave my house to see my dad. It was difficult keeping myself upbeat and optimistic at the time, though I learned new skills and tried to find joy in the little things. I often set a goal for myself each day that made the day worthy; I hate days where I sit and do nothing. I taught myself how to bake during the pandemic, and found happiness in baking TikTok recipes and biking them over to my friends’ houses. I would also do virtual dates with my boyfriend at the time, or play online games with my friends. Even just getting dressed, putting on makeup, and watching a new movie was enough for me. 

Zelia: Did you make/lose any friends during the time where everyone had to isolate themselves in their homes? 

Jenna: It was interesting. I think I made more friends than I lost. I did lose a fair amount of friends in 2021, but that was drama, and I don’t think I would relate it to Covid in any way. A lot of friends and I had fizzled out due to Covid, simply because they were more ‘school friends’ where all we had in common was similar humour and class schedules, nothing we could survive off of outside of school. During covid, I found myself meeting people from my new school and keeping in touch with people from my old. In 2021, I became best friends with someone who messaged me on Instagram, “Hey I just saw your Spotify and we have a lot of similar music!” And thankfully, I met some kids through my online classes. Some kids would just message me out of nowhere, and now I hang out with them every day at school. Some of them I was paired for an online discussion, and we got to talking about movies.

Zelia: How do you feel online learning has affected you as an extrovert? 

Jenna: Online learning heavily affected me as an extrovert. It was especially difficult for me to start this new school without knowing anybody. A lot of people told me, “It’s just hard because you can’t move around and talk to anybody,” which is true, but not entirely the reason why it was hard. When I started twelfth grade this year, knowing some people already, I still struggled with cracking jokes and making conversation, which was never really a problem for me before. I felt like the awkward new kid when I hung out with these people, the person who just tagged along because they knew one person in the group. I started questioning who I was as a person and what happened to me. There’s nothing wrong with being introverted; I was just upset because I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I felt like I was in someone else’s body. I struggled with new insecurities about what I said or did in front of these people, and whenever I got home I would just think about all the dumb things I said. Thankfully, as September continued, my confidence grew and I can call these people my friends now. 

Covid has affected everyone in many not-so-great ways, but if we check in on our friends and family we can make sure that they have all the love and support that they need! So go text that extroverted friend, make sure they’re doing okay and if they need it, just sit and listen; sometimes it’s the small things that make someone’s day a little bit brighter. 

*Answers were slightly edited for clarity*

Zelia Piasentin

UWindsor '25

My name is Zelia Piasentin and I am a psychology major at the University of Windsor! I haven't fully decided on my post-grad career, but I want to help others in any way I can. Some of my hobbies include reading, drawing, writing to my pen pal and running my small business. I also love camping and go for walks with my dog! You can find me on Instagram @zeliapiasentin and my shop @littlelemon.co , I'm always open to new friends!!
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