OPINION: A time for love and belonging


With the pandemic, many of our needs have been harder to obtain either directly or indirectly. Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, our needs include love and belonging, which comes after our physical needs such as food and water and our safety/security needs. As a 17-year-old high school student, I spent way less time with my family and friends and felt less safe during the pandemic. For the past year all I’ve done in my free time was stay home and play video games. I have not been able to fulfill my needs of love and belonging.

But now that we have less restrictions within the pandemic, we are able to feel more safe and build our rapport with not only ourselves, but with our friends and family outside of being online and in the house. With proper safety and planning, we should find more quality time with others to fulfill our necessary needs.

As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests, we should have our physiological, safety, and love and belonging needs fulfilled before we are able to have a good self esteem and obtain self actualization. With self isolation and restrictions from in person communication, friendships and proper communication are harder to maintain. As for me, there is less motivation to talk to anyone because it has been mostly talking online on social media or a platform that does not include face to face communication. 

Setting aside time for someone outside your household has been harder due to a lack of places to go and things to do. Although it may not feel like much, just attempting to hangout and do things such as building a desk together or going on a walk together can build a lot more rapport for two individuals. I have felt much better just being in the same room as someone compared to being home and texting. With proper planning and a motivation to be healthier and more social, two individuals can get together and just do whatever.

But if one feels like they have no friends, then it might help to use online resources and communities. It should be kept in mind though, that if you are struggling mentally and have no one to talk to, then you should reach out to trusted resources. Some resources include calling a helpline, therapists, and using trusted programs.  Humans are innately social creatures, and sometimes help is needed even when we think we are fine.

As I’ve only lived for 17 years, I do not know everything but I do know that even if something can not be repaired, something new can be built. Although needs are not always easy to obtain, and unexpected events like the pandemic can ruin it, we can still work towards rebuilding our lives by fulfilling our needs one by one.