Oracle After Hours: A letter to my post-pandemic self


Mackenzie Bill, columnist

Recently, I wrote a letter to my post-pandemic self for my U.S. History class. I felt overwhelmed when I first faced this assignment because there was so much to reflect on. 

Eventually, I was able to delve into some of my experiences and growth so far, and I am so grateful to be able to look back (and forward) on life. I have no idea when things will be “post-pandemic”, but it was great to be able to recollect on everything that has happened. 

Hopefully, this letter to my post pandemic self will resonate with you and help you reflect on this crazy year as well.


Dear post-pandemic Mackenzie,

So it’s over. You’ve made it to “normal.” How do you feel? 

Before this pandemic started, I was speeding through life. I was used to many late nights staring at a screen, unmotivated to start a workload of homework. I was used to rushing from school to a sport to another out of school activity, breathless and tired. I was used to staring at my phone way too much, procrastinating and distracting myself from what needed to get done.

Going and going and going, without stopping to take a breath. I loved most of it, but some of it did more bad than good.

 Life seemed dull. 

I was always in a rush, no matter what I had to do. I was in constant motion but unsure of where I really was going.

One day last year, in the midst of my routine, I got an email from my school saying that spring break would be two weeks instead of one. Woo-hoo!, I thought. 

I think we all know where this leads. All of a sudden everyone was at home and I only had two hours of school a day and the rest of the twenty-two hours of the day to do whatever a 16-year-old in a new pandemic does.

Little did I know that the next year would be filled with new experiences, some of which were challenging. 

Uncertainty and more fear, in general, were some of the major things that took up my life. I know that everyone else was experiencing this too; the constant worry about staying safe but also the disappointment that comes from having to sacrifice fun activities. People close to me lost family members and struggled with mental health. Many times, when I saw people I loved struggling, I could only talk to them through a screen. There was a disconnect to the people that I usually spend time with: my friends at school, extended family and grandparents too.

Still, like millions of other teenagers in the U.S., I had to start to adapt to this disruption.

Life was pressing on the brakes. Slow down Mackenzie, look around you, the universe said. I suddenly had all this time on my hands. I was reluctant at first, but I eventually began to slow down.

When slowing down, I began to distance myself from my friends who weren’t as nice as I thought. I started working out to change the way I felt: I found more energy and I had a healthy outlet to relieve stress, making me feel calmer and happier. I read the news and formed an opinion. I became more politically active, whether it was posting on social media or having a political discussion with my friends that had different views than me. I talked with my family more. I cried a lot too- especially after watching the movie Soul.

Something I found during this time was the ability to let go of my hesitation to show emotion. Before the pandemic, I had a tendency to shove my feelings down and ignore them because that was easier to do than actually experience them. From the pandemic, I’ve been able to sit with my feelings and find a healthy way to express them.

I also found time for myself. Do you still have that? I hope that you do because you deserve it. Everyone deserves it. 

Nothing went according to plan this past year. It was scary and intimidating and frustrating but also a much-needed pause. It’s funny because, in the hardest of times, I was able to finally take some time to reflect and understand that everything will be okay.

I finally found some peace amidst the chaos.

From this time, I’ve found a different, odd perspective on life that I would never have if the pandemic didn’t happen. People have said that we took pre-pandemic life for granted, but I hope that you didn’t take pandemic life for granted either.

Thank you and much love, from,

Pandemic Mackenzie