Carmen Miskel, a sixteen-year-old Bryn Mawr native, is one of the winners of The New York Times’ Coming of Age in 2021 contest.
Her comic “A Companion Nonetheless” is one of the 25 favorites chosen among the 4,000-plus multimedia submissions on how young people are being shaped by these extraordinary times.
But Miskel had been struggling with isolation even before the pandemic.
“I am somewhat of an introvert, so making plans to meet my friends is really hard for me,” she wrote. “Then, once they’re made, it is so tempting to flake, especially when the plans are casual and therefore easily-flakeable.”
Miskel drew the winning comic when students started to return to school in person. In it, she drew loneliness as a companion.
“I didn’t make him look evil or looming, since being alone is safe and almost comforting,” she wrote. “But when I let myself be alone for too long, I get in my head. I go on Instagram and realize how much I’m missing out on (the dreaded FOMO), and I hate myself for canceling those plans, or postponing them to an unforeseeable and nonexistent date.”
Read more about Carmen Miskel and the winning comic in The New York Times.