It is clear that teens struggled before the pandemic began, however, as a result of the pandemic, the amount of teenagers struggling has increased tremendously. Some are struggling with depression and anxiety while others are struggling with eating disorders and suicidal ideations. Some have lost their friends and have developed strained relationships with their family members. However, as a result of the pandemic, some teens have also benefited. They have learned to slow down and their schedules are not so packed, allowing them to stop and take a breath. Some have become more comfortable speaking their opinions since they are behind a screen for school, and some have become more comfortable truly discovering themselves and being who they really are. Some have improved their relationships with their parents and siblings since they have finally had time to spend with their family. However, whether negative or positive, the pandemic has changed people, and most people, especially teens, are craving someone to talk to. Everyone wants to be heard, especially when they are going through something tough, and Teenline has been there for teens throughout most of the pandemic. Lily Kramon, 16, is just one of the Teenline volunteers who aims to make a positive difference in the lives of other teens. She is eager to hug her friends again one day soon, and, along with the other Teenline volunteers, she hopes that all of the teens who call in feel a little less alone during their conversation. Learn more about Lily and her goals in the excerpt below from The Washington Post.
Writing from The Washington Post, by Ellen McCarthy
“Lily Kramon, 16, just sighs when she starts to think about it. Kramon, a high school sophomore, has been volunteering at Teen Line since last February. She’s been on Instagram since seventh grade, Snapchat since eighth. Like many teens, she knows social media is a double-edged sword — one that seemed to become both more indispensable and more injurious during the pandemic.
Even before coronavirus, the apps could cause her angst. ‘It’s so easy to start just, like, over-analyzing your friend group. Like, ‘Is that person really my friend?,’ she says. ‘And social media is now a way for you to see when your friends are hanging out without you.’
Kramon is a gregarious, social-butterfly type — ‘very much a hugger,’ she says. She’s been disappointed by some friends’ lack of effort to connect during the pandemic,and wrecked by photographic evidence that other friends have gotten together without inviting her. Due to the pandemic, in-person meetups are more exclusive these days, and that only makes an invite more coveted.
Volunteering for Teen Line has helped Kramon stay hopeful while she waits for vaccines to accelerate a return to normal life. Some of the calls have been hard. Late last year she talked to a boy who in the past year had an aunt and uncle die in a car accident, a cousin commit suicide, a grandmother die of covid-19 and both parents become severely ill with the illness.
‘I can’t understand what you’re going through, but I want to,’ she remembers telling him. The caller talked for almost a half an hour and told Kramon at the end that he felt a little better for having told his story.
That’s one thing Kramon appreciates, even on the most painful calls. Every time she talks to a caller the connection feels real, even if it’s with someone she’ll never speak to again. There’s no posing or putting up a front. Those moments, at least, are unfiltered.”
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