When my school closed because of COVID, I was originally pretty happy as lots of the things that I found myself dreading, such as waking up early for school, rushing to get to class on time, and just dealing with a lot of the stress that came along with high school were gone. But what I started to realize was that losing the structure that school provided put me in a far worse place than I ever was before the pandemic.
For a while, I would only wake up to join my zoom classes and once they were over, I would just go back to bed. It was as if all semblance of routine was gone from my life; I wasn’t waking up, even when I was sleeping it wasn’t quality rest, I would frequently skip meals, and I started to lose motivation for pretty much everything in my life. Over the first few months of quarantine, I found myself longing for the time that I had missed with friends, especially through the clubs that I was missing out on. One of these clubs, Model UN, was very enjoyable for me throughout the school year as I loved talking about world issues and politics that my generation would have to deal with in the future. Once school was over, I slowly began participating in many smaller discussions online over different political topics whether it would be in the comments section on YouTube videos, Reddit threads, or other social media platforms. While it wasn’t much, I found myself at least gaining motivation to do one thing and over time, the other parts of my life started to get back in place.
By the time I knew it, the school year had started up again and luckily, in-person learning was available at my school. I started to enjoy time with friends again and had a lot of fun in Model UN that year. But, I was transferring schools for junior year, and my new high school did not have a Model UN Club. My first thought was to just go back to what I was doing last summer, but I had a few problems with those discussions. The discussions were very poorly regulated so often times, they would veer off to completely irrelevant topics and at that point, it was impossible to get back to the original discussion. Also, because of the completely unmoderated nature of the discussions, it would often just lead to an argument between two people just throwing insults back and forth and everyone else would stop participating. I wanted to create a way for discussions to be informal enough that people would enjoy participating, but moderated enough that the discussion wouldn’t deviate too much from the topic at hand. So, I decided to create an interactive website that could be an online forum for youth, like myself, to engage in discussions related to the global socio-economic issues that we are facing.