Students share how the coronavirus has changed their lives

Alexander Rogers (Courtesy)

“My first year of high school’s been affected by quarantine in a variety of ways, although I’d say that it ultimately only affected my experience mildly due to its late onset. I haven’t been able to interact with friends like usual, and that lack of social interaction can make school seem less interesting and more academically focused. There were events I’d planned with friends that will no longer happen, and while I’m disappointed they’ll never come to fruition, in retrospect I think this experience will teach me to take advantage of the time I have with them moving forward. On the flip side, quarantine’s lack of testing and academic benchmarking has allowed me to focus more on my learning in school and less on results, which has had a positive effect on my well being. While quarantine was refreshing at first, at this point I find myself spending most of my time watching the clock, waiting for the day, and likewise my boredom, to end. I’ve started taking walks around my neighborhood to fit physical activity into my daily routine, and have been catching up with some old friends. As far as feeling like I’ve been stripped of the opportunity to finish my first year, I actually think that this entire experience, unpleasant as it may be for the time being, has actually acted to make my freshman year relatively unique and memorable. At the very least I’m confident it will make for a great story.”

– Alex Rodgers, freshman

Lilly Walls (right) (Courtesy)

“I’m still missing a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t be if school was in. It’s definitely affecting me less as a sophomore than if I was a senior or a junior. While it’s pretty relaxed for me, I’m definitely not happy about quarantine. While it’s nice to get a little break from school, I also miss hanging out with my friends all the time. Because I can’t physically meet up with my friends, I spend a lot of time calling them every night, just to talk. To fill in the extra time I have on my hands, I play with my dogs and watch a lot of Netflix.”

– Lily Walls, sophomore

Drew Odama (Courtesy)

“The workload of being a junior has gone down a lot during quarantine, and I think that goes for everyone else as well. Since the start of remote learning, I’ve only had two “tests” from one class. As for homework, instead of getting a worksheet every day, I’ll either have a slightly longer worksheet and a video lesson to watch or a review packet every week. The actual classes are much easier. With remote learning going on, teachers aren’t expecting nearly as much from us anymore. Since our fourth quarter grades can’t hurt us, grades can only be improved. The AP tests have got me pretty stressed out. There’s only one shot at it, and if things don’t go very well, it feels like a waste of a school year. On the other hand, if you earn a good score it’s very rewarding in that you now have something impressive to show colleges and can potentially not have to take it again. Missing school has easily been the worst part of quarantine. Fortunately, we live in an area where we can afford to have remote learning and devices to communicate with others, but nothing can replace face-to-face interaction. With so much time on my hands, I’ve been balancing everything quite well. I’m now able to get 8+ hours of sleep every night and go outside to exercise in addition to keeping up with school and socializing with my friends.”

– Drew Odama, junior 

Ferris Bataineh (Courtesy)

“The biggest loss from quarantine is missing out on seeing my friends. While I’m missing out on school for the rest of this year, it’s not that big of a deal. For ending my time as a senior, I’m not incredibly disappointed that I won’t have an actual graduation, as it’s not that big of a deal for me. For the senior pranks, I always thought the senior pranks were lame and unfunny, so I won’t be losing any sleep over missing what they put together this year. I’m excited to see what comes next, however, if the situation continues to stay like this, I might have to look at postponing going to college. There really isn’t a point in doing online classes.”

– Ferris Bataineh, senior