I am Ayşenur. I’m a university student in Turkey. When COVID-19 started, I was alone in my home in Istanbul, away from my family. My friends went to their families and homes as soon as the three-week closure announcement was made. When they told us that the closing time had been extended and that the school would continue online throughout the semester, it was too late to go to my family because intercity travel was prohibited. I had to stay alone in my home for a very long time, and the catastrophic situation we were in had a bad psychological impact on me.

Although I started to learn to play the guitar in order to use my time efficiently in this process, I started to not enjoy it because I got bored alone. I was alone for so long that although I lived on the third floor, I started to be afraid of the sounds coming from outside.

When summer came, the measures for tourism activities were loosened in our country and I was finally able to come to my family. Although my plans for the summer as an engineering student were to do an internship, I couldn’t do it because all the companies stopped purchases due to COVID-19. With the economic damage caused by the pandemic, companies in our country did not have a budget allocated for interns. So the whole summer passed by staying at home, worrying that I would get sick and infect my family.

When the university opened in autumn, a busy and stressful life awaited me again. With the effect of being separated for a long time, my boyfriend and I decided to end our relationship. With the school closed combined with staying home for months, the weight gain, and the effect of the pandemic, it was inevitable for me to experience a mental breakdown. I had a rough time for about two months but fortunately, I was able to get rid of my depression by trying hard to get better.

I still don’t leave the house and my life goes in my room, but now I’m more active. When I wake up in the morning, I start the day with exercise and eat healthily. I try to take advantage of being at home all the time. We connect with people on various online platforms and develop projects together. I spend more time improving myself.

You can see that it took me a full year to get used to COVID-19 conditions.