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Quarantine guide to caring (about highschool)

Art by Delta Rae

Apathy is one of those things that can't be understood unless you've felt it yourself. Apathy can be a lack of concern, motivation, passion, interest, you name it. It can be controllable, but only if the person cares enough to control it, and in most cases, they don’t. Where does it come from? Can it be explained? Can you overcome it?

Apathy, while sounding seemingly unimportant, can have serious consequences. It’s upsetting, knowing that you don’t care and maybe you should. But this “feeling” of apathy makes everything feel distant, distant enough to shrug whatever negative feelings you were having right off your shoulders. Everything feels fine until reality comes knocking at your door and you realize everything wasn’t so distant after all.

No one likes a harsh reality, but it’s even worse when that reality is life-altering, or just an enormous pain, so what do you do?

I could tell you to just believe in yourself and stuff your head full of countless motivational quotes you can find yourself all over the internet, but it’s not that simple. With that being said, I can’t give you a magical remedy that will make you care about everything you didn’t care about before. I’m just a writer in a school newspaper, and although I wish I knew everything, I don’t. I will, however, offer as much advice as I can.

The most important thing to do when you’re in a slump like this one is to create a short-term goal. Focus on one thing, just one, whether it be completing an assignment, passing a test, or raising a grade. The key is to commit to it, and that may be a hard thing to do, so here are some things that might help you along the way.

1. Reward yourself.

Forcing yourself to do something is exhausting, especially when you don't really see the value or reward in doing it. You may have heard this a million times, but rewarding yourself when you achieve a goal can be an effective and positive reinforcement.

2. Ask someone for help.

This may seem odd to some people, but if you don't trust yourself enough to stay on track, you could always pull a friend aside and ask to be study buddies. Sometimes, having another person in the same boat makes for steady waters and a smooth ride, not to mention a higher engagement in work.

3. Include things that interest you.

Maybe you'd like listening to music while doing homework? Or maybe you'd like making the work a competition between a few friends? If there's anything you can do to make school work fun for yourself, do it.

While these tips may not be much, they're enough to start making progress. Picking yourself up is a hard thing to do, especially when you lack motivation. Hopefully this helped you take the first step, even if just a little.

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