Staying Healthy with Saloni: Return to social interaction


Sydney Ling

Whether it be our teachers or our friends or our parents, we all need to make the readjustment back to constant social interaction. 

by Saloni Shah, Humans of Harker Editor-In-Chief

“Hey Saloni!” “Hi Saloni, how are you?” “Saloni! Happy belated birthday!”

On April 19, 2021, I stepped foot on campus for the first time in over a year. Immediately, I was engulfed in an atmosphere of ebullient enthusiasm. 

Let me backtrack. Over a year ago, I left campus on a sunny Thursday afternoon, not realizing that it would be the end of my senior year by the time I returned. As the months passed by and various vaccines made progress, I slowly regained hope that I would interact with my peers one last time before we go our separate ways to a myriad of colleges.

However, once the plan was formalized, the idea of returning to campus suddenly felt daunting. With each email from the administration regarding the process of returning to normalcy, I grew more and more anxious, and the idea of returning to campus suddenly felt daunting. 

Having barely left my house for the past year, I grew anxious about seeing 200 of my classmates. What if I forgot how to initiate small talk? What if my classmates don’t remember me? What if I say something awkward or stupid?

In all of this worrying, I forgot one main point: everyone feels the same. It’s not just me who has been through the ups and downs and uncertainty of COVID-19—it’s all of us. Whether it be our teachers or our friends or our parents, we all need to make the readjustment back to constant social interaction. 

“Okay, thanks Saloni, but this column is titled ‘Staying Healthy with Saloni.’ Where’s my health advice?” Don’t worry, I’ve got you. 

The main tip I have regarding staying healthy in the transition back to normal life is to be understanding. While this may seem like fluff, listening to and reflecting upon others’ thoughts and reservations has been one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in high school. 

Be understanding that your friends may not want to participate in every single event. Be understanding that you may have less capacity for social interaction, and that’s totally okay. Be understanding that your teachers also need time to reacclimate themselves to the classroom. And be understanding that everyone adjusts on their own time.

Make sure to also utilize the resources available to you, whether that be our counselors or even your parents!

And last but not least, don’t forget to leave time for yourself. We’ve been alone for so long that we feel we must do everything in order to gain back the experiences we lost. I’d caution you from overexerting yourself—take the time you need to recuperate, whether it be napping between classes or immersing yourself in your favorite music, so that you can truly enjoy the moments with the ones you love.