March 16th – April 30th
I woke up on the first Monday of quarantine with my alarm ringing, and my mind racing. While I was excited, I was also worried. How would I be doing my school work? What about my class, and my future? While these questions were running through my head, I also felt a sense of excitement. Finally, here was a change from the old school routine which I followed for so many months! My day went by extremely quickly. As the week progressed, the days began to flow into each other, each morning resembling the next one. This emotionless, neutral cycle continued for a while. It was also concerning that the number of Covid -19 cases in my state went up with each passing day. First 50, then 100, 200, 300, and so on. Amidst all this chaos was the time I watched Avatar the Last Airbender. It is an amazing show from my childhood, and the adventure and excitement kept me going when I had nothing else to do. Soon, just as I was getting used to this action, the two weeks in which my school was to be closed was coming to the end. I was finally ready to get back to my productive, and active routine. However, the cases in my state were rising at an unprecedented rate, making it even more dangerous for us to return to our school. Due to this, our governor chose to extend the stay at home order, and schools were closed for one more week. However, this time we would be given optional schoolwork to complete at home, so we had something to keep us busy during our time in quarantine. My friends and I were surprisingly excited about this, and we planned to video call each other during the day, so the experience would be similar to completing work at school. I ended up calling a couple of my closest friends, and we had lots of fun chatting, and we managed to get most of our optional work done as well. This helped me and my peers to get through the week, and we ended up being much happier because of it. If quarantine has taught me one thing, it is that I love and enjoy school much more than I ever realized.
Unfortunately, the Covid 19 cases in my state were rising exponentially. What was once 500 cases in Pennsylvania, has turned to almost 2,000 cases. Due to this, school closure was to be extended for another two weeks, with our spring break included. However, this time, instead of the assignments being optional, they were mandatory and were to have an impact on our grades. This put a lot more pressure on us. There were no more video calls, sleeping in, or late nights. The teachers needed students to check in on a discussion board before 10:00 am, and have everything submitted before 5:00 pm. This new change put us back on the usual grind, and without other people to talk to and socialize with, it was definitely more difficult to deal with the stress.
After a long week of hard work, spring break had finally arrived. I was relieved to have a week off, where I could go outside, hang out with my friends and … oh wait. Social Distancing made sure that we were stuck at home. This was the first time I had ever experienced something like this during spring break. While the first few days were tough, I found ways to enjoy my time and have fun. I played some Minecraft with my friends, went on runs, watched my favorite show(Avatar the Last Airbender), and spring cleaned my basement. I was refreshed, and ready for the coming weeks of school work.
A grim realization
Unfortunately, due to rising cases my school reported that they would be closing schools for the rest of the school year. When I heard the news, my gut wrenched. I would not be able to see my close friends until next September. I would not ever get back to my routine. My freshman year of high school was over. In March. I felt terrible and unhappy for a few days before I could accept it. I knew there was nothing I could do about it, and that this decision was made to keep me and my friends in safety. With this new change, I was ready to go back to online school in the following weeks. My laptop would be my high school for the next few months. However, I knew that if I were to maintain my sanity, I needed to create a proper routine that I would stick to. I planned it so that I would wake up in the morning around 7:00 am, eat my breakfast, and get to work with my assignments. By noon, I would be finished with my work for the day, and eat lunch with my family. The rest of the day would be devoted to my hobbies, trying new things, and preparing for next year. I got back into piano after I stopped playing a few years back, and I started to learn to draw sketches of ships and airplanes. Then, at the end of the day, I would kick back and relax. Whether this was watching shows, playing board games, or listening to music, it helped me chill off before I went to bed and did it all over again. This has been my life ever since that fateful Friday when the world went home.