That Was Then, This is Now: NAHS Students “Glow Up” Over Quarantine


Lindsay Zappa

Nothing But Net: Sophomore Kate Zappa brushes up on her basketball skills to get in shape over quarantine.

“Quarantine” is a word that many people, including the students and staff of North Atlanta, have begun to associate with resentment and bitterness over the past few months. It’s representative of our continued isolation from the lives we used to lead. However, although quarantine has had many negative effects on the NAHS population, it’s also benefited a shockingly large number of people in a variety of different ways. One of those ways is the chance to change. 

High school is commonly considered a place where students are encouraged to express themselves uniquely, but in many cases, it’s the exact opposite. Peer pressure, the toxicity of teenagers, and societal standards of beauty all contribute to students denying their true selves in an effort to fit in. This manifests itself in how they dress, talk, act, etc. But quarantine has removed the toxic environment of high school and instead permitted students to look how they want to look without fear of judgement.

Living proof of this is the multitude of students who have recently dyed or cut their hair or begun dressing differently. Without the pandemic, they may never have done such a thing, but now, they don’t have to fear that others will judge them. “I finally gained the confidence to dye my hair a few weeks ago,” said an anonymous sophomore. “I was always too scared to do it before the pandemic.”

Others have changed their opinions on different topics. These topics range from politics, media, film, etc. Politics, in particular, is a subject that numerous NAHS students now view differently. “Quarantine has given me the opportunity to really research and explore things,” said sophomore Debora Getahun. “I feel like I’m more educated now.”

A variety of other students testify to improved physical health and fitness. Quarantine provides them with more free time, which these students have been dedicated to using productively. One of the productive pastimes that they employ is athletics. “I’ve been exercising a lot more over quarantine,” said sophomore Kate Zappa. “It’s been great for my physical health.”

Of course, not everyone sees quarantine as having improved them. Without the pressure of having to look nice for their peers, many students have taken on a much more comfortable and casual look. Most notably, this has caused some people to believe that their appearances have deteriorated over quarantine. “I just don’t put as much effort into my appearance anymore,” said an anonymous sophomore. “If anything, I’ve glowed down since quarantine started.”

Glow up or glow down? Either way, quarantine has affected both the appearances and minds of many NAHS students.