"I haven’t got a single thing to look forward to," she screams while dissolving into what we would normally dismiss as her being a melodramatic teenager.
Except this time she isn’t being melodramatic. And she is not alone.
This scene has been played out by teens across Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores in March 2020.
In the past 18 months, Australian teenagers have seen their final years of school disrupted in ways they could never have imagined. There have been cancelled trips, sporting events, festivals, graduations, concerts, formals, performances, and the list goes on and on.
The things you never say in 2021. Post continues below.
As parents, we have sat and listened to our teens as they despaired at the uncertainty of the events unfolding, not knowing if they will sit their exams, or what this means for the future they had mapped out.
"When our teens look forward to things, it is done with passion. It’s what gets them through all the angst at school, and the never-ending pressure they put on themselves," Tracey, who has a 16-year-old daughter, told Mamamia. "When these things get cancelled, it is hard to look forward."
For Pia’s daughter, it has been a challenging time. "She slips into a mood and will cry, so I try anything to cheer her up," Pia shared. "The other night we ate ice cream in her bed at 11pm and just talked."
Another mother told Mamamia that her daughter in Year 11 is contemplating dropping out of school all together – something she would never have considered before remote learning began. "She is a good student and has plans for university. She is just sick of doing her schoolwork online and is missing her friends," Laura* said.
It isn’t just our girls that are finding this hard. Many teenage boys are used to being very active throughout the week. To have that taken away to sit in front of a screen all day is a challenge.
"[My son] has struggled with remote learning," one mother in regional Victoria shared. "He needs to be in a classroom environment and says sitting at his computer all day makes him angry. We have accepted that with remote learning, he will only do the bare minimum."