I desire to share my experience with you as a senior student during school online. It is simple to say that being stuck home most of the time allows me more time to focus on my academics, and, for some people, I’m sure that is the case. But, there are, as there always is, some underlying circumstances.
From now on, I am speaking from personal experience.
First … is the disappointment. This can also apply to incoming freshman, but as a senior, I was excited to spend my last year as a child, still so dependent, but ready to take off. Adding as many things as possible to my year so as to end my high school experience with the abundance of memories that are known to be tied to those words: high school. It was my decision in the first place, but I hadn’t even attended a single football game or dance. I was planning on it too, telling myself senior year was going to be my year. The last rally, the last music concert, the last class trip, the last food sale.
Next … is the quarantine. People now spend the majority of their time in their home, students especially. Life has suddenly become very sedentary for everyone. There have been too many days where I’ve forgotten to go outside and just breathe, touch some grass, look up at the sky. It’s not healthy.
Unfortunately, with quarantine comes the inevitable … technology. I say “unfortunately” because even though these very resources are what keep the education system up and running, which we should still be thankful for regardless, it is also not healthy. The schools can do nothing about it since life must go on, but it should still be remembered that every student is now expected to sit in front of a screen for 5 to 8 hours daily, as well as teachers and many other adults. The younger generations are already wired to the internet; even before Covid-19, kids and teens had an average screen time of 4 hours, measured mainly by cellphone use. This would not disappear just because quarantine was instated. In fact, it would more than likely increase since people could not often leave their houses anymore. I can say with shame, but no doubt, that I am addicted to technology, or the internet.
Another subject that ties to quarantine is … the adaptation process itself. During the first few weeks of quarantine, school was still in session and I had no problem learning from home and completing assignments. Then a pass or fail grading system was decided on for the last semester, basically starting summer early for everyone who had passed all, or at least the majority, of their classes. Even once school started up again in the fall, I was fine and getting up in the morning to sit at my desk or a table somewhere and it was okay. Now, I find myself laying in bed, half-listening to what is being said through a small speaker attached to a small sceen. I almost don’t care anymore. The only thing motivating me to continue is the fact that colleges and universities I’ve applied to have granted a conditional acceptance into their school. And it would crush me if they were revoked because I couldn’t at least open up a laptop, no matter how tired and burnt-out I may be.
My mom tells me, “Don’t drop the ball; keep running with it.”
“What ball? It feels like I’m stuck in quicksand.”
So, I can’t tell you to simply not think about it and suck it up and grind. But I can’t tell you that it’s ok and don’t do your work if you feel as unmotivated as I or worse. All I can say is that it is unfair and you are right. And I’m sorry, as are, I’m sure, your teachers, your counselors, your friends, those who also understand. It sucks, to be frank. Especially because there are also people who don’t understand, or even refuse to.
There will be other struggles later on, though not as difficult as quarantine, so don’t think that life will be easy once the pandemic ends. You will always be a little uncomfortable. So, find your balance and try at least a little, whether that means you do one assignment a day, or raise your grade from an F to a D, or even simply sign into class. Just remember, no matter how far behind you are, making even the smallest effort to catch up or make progress will garner you that much more respect and help from BHS. Because, as I’ve mentioned, it’s not so simple for them either.