Connect with Adolescent
Close x white

Life What are the Adolescent creatives doing this week?

Apr. 3, 2020
Avatar anna vo.jpg4a76f10f 4aa4 446a 8802 e343ded487a6

When I first sat down to write the first installment of this piece, things were bad. Since then, America has began leading the world in confirmed cases of contagion. Doctors across the country are struggling with the shortage of protective gear such as medical face masks, and there’s been a staggering increase in hospitalized patients—and subsequently, deaths. 

It’s been hard to stay at home and feel like everything’s going to be okay, but here’s how we have to think about it: you’re already doing your job. You’re safe at home. A lot of us are privileged enough to still have food, shelters, and our loved ones. Maybe it’s time to consider helping out others by donating to Direct Relief, Meals on Wheels, a local food bank, or a homeless shelter. 

Since last week, I’ve watched the entire season of Tiger King, read lê thi diem thúy’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For, and put together my own poetry book! What else have we been doing? Here, some of our photographers and writers share how they’ve been passing time. 

Lauren Tepfer, Photographer and Director. Haddon Heights, New Jersey

Mostly known for her cinematic photos of suburban landscapes, Lauren began contributing to Rookie Mag in 2015, and has since been commissioned by Nike, Converse, VSCO, Vans, and Google. Check out her favorite here

How have you been spending your time?

I’ve been stuck inside for two whole weeks now self-quarantining. At first, I was spending a lot of time on the computer playing Sims (lol). This past week, I started making art with my hands. I’m not a multimedia artist, but I’ve always loved tactile/physical art, and using my hands, so I’ve been collaging and making Linocut prints! I’ve become really productive which is honestly unlike me—but I’m having a lot of fun making stuff inside!

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

I had to leave New York City and come home to New Jersey to be with my family. I also lost a freelance gig that was happening at the end of March. My birthday is next month and I have a trip planned with my best friends, but I don’t think it’ll happen anymore. Right now, it’s so important to be proactive so I’m taking all necessary precautions. My mom is immunocompromised so it’s important for me to take everything seriously and follow the rules.

Have you learned something from this situation?

I’ve learned that getting dressed and getting out of bed does a lot for your mental health while stuck indoors. Everything that we’re experiencing is really difficult, and it's affecting so many people. I miss the city a lot! And hanging out with my friends!

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

I’m really excited to return to the city and ride the subway—as mundane as it seems!

Olivia Ferrucci, Writer and Editor. Long Valley, New Jersey

Olivia’s our editor-in-chief. She currently studies creative writing and political science at Columbia University. When she was fifteen, she founded Lithium Magazine—a platform for teens and young adults to express themselves through all creative means. 

How have you been spending your time?

I’ve watched a stupid amount of movies. Twenty of them. I’ve been making homemade pasta and reading The New Yorker. I’ve also been working on Adolescent and Lithium a lot. I painted my room. My sleep schedule is fucked, so I’ve been writing a lot at night.

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

Just like pretty much everyone else, my classes are online now. I had to move home from college, and I really, really miss New York. Now that I’m in Jersey, it feels like I’m back in high school somehow.

Have you learned something from this situation?

Just gratitude. I’m really lucky to not be immunocompromised and to have food and shelter. My concerns are trivial compared to others’, and I’m trying to be constantly aware of that. 

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

I want to take the train into New York and visit my big, Sofia.

Zoe Allen, Writer. Dallas, Texas

Zoe writes current events at Adolescent, and is also the creative director of Boston University’s Off the Cuff Magazine and the story editor for Crybaby Zine. Read her favorite essay she’s written here. 

How have you been spending your time?

I've been holding up! I'm lucky enough to live in an economically and emotionally stable household and be able to continue my college education online. Absolutely none of this situation is ideal, but it's important to check your privilege in times like these (and always). As someone who struggles with anxiety, this situation has definitely brought out some of my worst characteristics, especially because I wasn't able to get my Prozac refilled for three weeks. 

I started watching Sex Education, reading Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, making a bunch of my own meals, and styling myself to stay creative. I FaceTime my boyfriend a lot. There's definitely this push to be "productive" which I think is a little toxic but I admit that I've bought into.

How has your life been affected by the lockdown?

[Life] definitely isn't the same, or nearly as rigorous as my usual college life, so I've had a lot more time to kill. I currently am not working my retail job, but I'm lucky because they're paying me weekly based on my average amount of hours for the last six weeks. My classes feel completely different online than in person. My biggest loss would probably be the magazine I help run at BU—we had four more print photography shoots planned and a whole magazine to print and launch. The fact that we're not going to be creating a physical magazine was hard for me to swallow, but we're trying to take a more online angle.

Have you learned something during this situation?

I've learned that I love being busy. When I'm at college, I hardly have room to breathe. I'm either working on the magazine, in class, doing work for my classes, at work, out with friends, or asleep. I love the "go go go" nature of it all. Although it's nice to sit and be able to breathe, it's only nice for about a week. And then I'm ready to be back in it. I miss my friends a ton, I think everyone does, but there's no sense of missing out or need to go out because obviously we're all inside or isolating. 

I've been talking a lot about privilege, specifically the privilege I have as a white, economically stable woman. This whole situation has made me take inventory of what I'm lucky to have and what privilege looks like. Our economy is taking a hit and coronavirus will most likely bankrupt more people than it kills, so I've been trying to donate and support local businesses and just remind myself that even though I was sent home from school, I will be okay. A lot of people won't. It's really opened my eyes up to how important health care for all is and how it's absolutely a necessity. As of now, I'm not facing a serious health threat, economic threat, or any racism as a result of this pandemic and for that I am very privileged.

What will you do first when the quarantine is over?

Probably hug my best friends and get a latte and vanilla scone from my favorite coffee shop.

Breyona Holt, Photographer and Founder of Exquisite Eye. Los Angeles, California

Over the years, Breyona has worked on advertising campaigns with big companies like Beats by Dre, VSCO, Converse, and Gap. Check out her work here

How have you been spending your time?

It’s been bittersweet. I’ve been using this time to catch up on editing passion projects and over-indulging in self-care. I’ve been practicing my DJ skills, self-portraits, and cooking.

How has your life been affected by the lockdown?

My jobs and income have been affected, but I’ve been challenging myself to find new creative ways to make money during this time. Before the lockdown I was booked for my third out-of-state gig shooting a musician. I was really excited for this opportunity, to be flown out and to do something I love. 

Have you learned something from this situation?

I’ve learned to be more patient and loving to myself. I’ve been a freelancer for over six years and every day I try to be better at my craft. I think it’s time to slow down and care for myself a little more. What I miss most is physical touch and the inspiration that I gain from being around my peers. 

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

Travel. 

Andrea Panaligan, Writer. Cavite, Philippines 

Andrea writes coming-of-age essays, and is fascinated by how we grow up on and off screen. Read her favorite essay she’s written here. 

How have you been spending your time?

I went back home because classes were suspended for two weeks. I was an anxious mess during the first week, reading the news by the minute and trying to adjust to the sudden loss of structure. But recently I’ve been doing schoolwork, trying to catch up on my backlogs and following the syllabus. I’m slowly building a routine by following my class schedule when studying, even if I’m just in my pajamas in the living room. 

How has your life been affected since the lockdown?

My city’s under community quarantine and no one's allowed to go beyond their neighborhood. A lot of this quarantine period has been spent reworking systems to adjust to the circumstance, from how to do groceries to a new academic calendar.

Have you learned something from this situation?

Having so much free time indoors without worrying about my next meal is a privilege. This community quarantine and subsequent travel ban is unjust and anti-poor, implemented by self-interested leaders with out-of-touch strategies and policies. Frankly this quarantine has exposed how inherently inhumane current social systems are. My mom, who’s a frontline health worker in a hospital two hours away, had to walk for a few miles and ask to hitch-hike just to get to work. Of course I miss and crave the normalcy of life pre-pandemic, but I know that even after all this is over, nothing will return to normal.

What will you do first when quarantine is over?

I’ll hug my mom.