Reading and Writing Our Way Forward
The pandemic is changing our society. Mainly, I've been noticing that the way we communicate is evolving. I've found different ways to stay connected. I use my PS4 or any social media platform to reach out. Using my PS4 is useful. I say that because not only are you able to talk with your friends and check up on them but also have fun. I try to check up on my friends every two days or so. Just to make sure that they're holding up alright and know that I am here if they need anything. What I miss most of being physically connected is just seeing them face to face.
Being able to bother them and yell their names so that they have no choice but to turn around and laugh. I miss our roast sessions where we could be ourselves without anyone telling us not to. This whole pandemic has already had a significant impact, especially for seniors. This was the year for us to go out with a bang. But all of that is a distant reality, and we have to work from home. School is an escape for most of us because some of us don't wanna be home. We consider our friends our family because they accept us for who we are. They won't judge us or make us do something we don't want to do. This is why Inwood Academy is special to me and so many others. No matter what people do, there's no replacing that. I mean, we do appreciate the efforts, but there's no way around the truth,
Inwood is probably one of a handful of places where I feel comfortable being myself. It was my home. I felt at home with my friends. I even called the staff members, my friends, because we've grown so used to each other's company. Whether we are in class, lunch, or the hallways, we always found ways to make a little fun. Some people don't go home because they feel trapped in a space that they are not allowed to express themselves. Sometimes parents try to change their kids into other versions that aren't true to who they are. Kids, especially teenagers, are going through a time when this is all they experience. Being at home might seem like a good idea, but staying too long will eat away at you. At school, we talked about everything and anything without expectations. My friends would say things like "what if we lived in a simulation" or "why has everything bad happened after 2016." You know, hypothetical and random conversations that always end up somewhere unexpected but always with laughter you feel in the belly. I swear my friends are some of the most hilarious people in NYC and also the silliest. But even with everything going on, we still find ways to connect.
When I used to go out, I would just walk around NYC and just enjoy the fresh air. I would appreciate the sights and smells of the streets, the fragrance of food being cooked up on Dyckman. From Pastellitos to colorful cups of fruit being sold, there almost seemed to be a buffet somewhere to be explored. "Pastelitos para un peso" which means "pastelitos for a dollar." Hearing music blasting from apartments or people's cars. This, I miss. The streets were never quiet. Dyckman is a glorious and endless experience to take in. But right now, we are removed from this. And it hurts to have these things missing. Seeing the city that never sleeps takes a rest seems really weird. Not hearing idiots rev their cars up for attention while everyone quietly judges feels off. Not hearing moms disciplining children on their walks back from school feels unsettling. The new norm is quiet, I guess. But I know this can only go on for a bit longer. It's just who we are--lively and full of noise. We will soon return the outdoors and rediscover our face-to-face relationships with friends. Honestly, I can't wait. It's going to be action-packed, spilling over laughter and moms yelling for the first few days. We will bring back the noise, the sounds, and the life to our streets. Wait and see.