Reading and Writing Our Way Forward
Quarantine for me has gotten to the point where all the days seem to blend together. My sleep schedule has been completely flipped upside down. I sleep only when I see the sun come up and hear the birds chirping and wake up when the sun is gone. If it weren't for the google classroom due dates, I would have no real perception of time or what day it was.
When we first started quarantine, I had no idea that it would be lasting so long or getting so bad, especially in New York, although it makes sense considering how many people rely on public transportation here. Starting, I would've never guessed that it would cost us our graduation, prom, and summer vacation plans. Making the transition from an actual school where I can see my friends and receive help from teachers in-person to online school has been pretty hard because I can spend half my day doing my work because of how slow I work on my own. A plus side to this though, is that I can always call my friends if I need help with something or if I want to talk. Within the days of quarantine, I can spend up to ten hours on FaceTime with them, talking to one person or a whole bunch at once. We talk about the dumbest things, but at this point in the quarantine, talking to friends about silly things for hours is better than sitting alone talking to no one. The idea that feeds my spirit is the conversations I have with my friends. They are genuinely some of the funniest and easy-going people I've ever met. The fact that they are so chill and approachable makes everything a lot easier to deal with.
Something I've learned from being in quarantine is that having a conversation over phone or FaceTime is never going to be the same thing as seeing them in person and being able to feel them there with you physically. But these talks we have are probably one of the only things keeping me sane during the quarantine. It's funny how our conversations of, "Our Minecraft dog house isn't close enough to our Minecraft mansion" are enough to keep me entertained while under lockdown. Some conversations are a lot more academic, or future-oriented though and follow along the lines of, "I wonder what life will be like for us in college?" or "I hope that I won't struggle with my classes too much without you guys around to help me understand". That being said, quarantine has made things a lot harder for me in terms of academics, not just in high school but for making decisions that will affect my future at college.
During the beginning of the year, we were all together and were able to talk about things like college and our future careers with our counselors in person who made it seem a lot easier to deal with.
When you're sitting at home with nothing to do other than think about what life will be like when this ends, my conversations with my friends over FaceTime usually steer to the fact that by the time this is over, we'll be in college or at least about to be. I've also had to accept the fact that the college I choose, whatever it is, will be a huge change that I'll have to adapt to myself, without the friends I've grown up with. Deciding without having someone always available to help you through it isn't easy because at the end of the day, I'm making a choice that will determine what my future may look like, both academically and career-wise. I'm glad that we at least have our emails as a way to communicate with the teachers and counselors. My friends, even though they aren't as qualified, make me feel like whatever I choose, wherever that may be, is perfect because of how supportive they are. These friends are all going to be away from me throughout college which may be the part that sucks the most. Still, somehow they manage to make a 2-hour drive upstate to see them seem exciting because of all the stories we'll have to listen to and tell each other about how the school is going even though we, already have made promises to each other that we'll FaceTime almost every day, even if we have to create a schedule. They help me cope through so much while this is going on, again solidifying the fact that they are one of the only reasons I haven't gone insane during the quarantine.
This quarantine has also helped me improve a lot personally. Before this, I was already someone who would prefer staying indoors, or maybe going out with a few friends over going out to a party, so this isn't too big of a change for me, but I do miss hanging out with my friends because being around them meant that I would rarely find myself bored. Now, during quarantine, I'm becoming more independent than I already was, which is saying something because I was already pretty independent. I've had no other choice but to find ways to entertain myself, and by doing that, I've been cooking and cleaning a lot more than I would usually be. I've also been taking this free time to make goals both for the time I have now and for after this is over. In a nutshell, quarantine has been both a torturous experience and an enlightening one for me.