Blindly Optimistic: Beginning a New Year with COVID-19

Covid started as a new and confusing time. Uncertainty and fear were spread all around the world. I was blindly optimistic at the time and thought, “Maybe it won’t get to us!” Everyone was hoping COVID-19 wouldn’t reach the people we cared about.

I remember vividly leading up to the quarantine, everyone was buzzing and spreading news around the school, wondering if we were going to get out of school and what would happen if we had to leave. The atmosphere was popping. Every time I walked through the doors of Willets Road, I asked myself if there would be an update and if someone in our school would get COVID-19.

I recall hearing that we were transitioning to online learning and I wasn’t sure how to feel. Yes, we’d be able to sleep late and work by our time, but we’d be abruptly separated from our teachers and friends. We’d have to adjust to a whole new system, and boy, was that a change. I enjoyed the aspect of online learning in which I could play to my own beat and do the subjects I thought the easiest. However, the predictability and slowness of the day quickly bored me. Soon, I was unable to complete assignments without procrastinating. Texting on my phone, eating without care, and listening to music while staring at the ceiling was much more desirable. I also got frustrated really easily. Watching the screens all day and using Kami or docs to type in answers wasn’t appealing in the slightest.

So when I heard that I was going back to school (and going into high school as an eighth grader),  you can imagine how excited I was. As I imagined walking around in the hallways and having lunch with my friends, I felt a wave of relief and joy washing over me. Not euphoria though. A dim version of euphoria, filled with excitement. I wanted to know my teachers and my schedule and my courses, and if I had any classes with my friends; and where we would sit for lunch (and how would we eat with masks? Like, a slit in the mask? Inherent confusion alert!)

As soon as I walked through the red doors, I got dizzy. I knew that beyond the first hallway, the 200, 300, and 400 corridors would consistently confuse me, and it only got more confusing when all older kids started traversing the halls. When I got out of the classroom on Friday, I instantly went the wrong way due to my disorientation. As it turns out, running in rectangles to reach your class is not fun, and the realization that you’re going the long way is even LESS fun. Thank god for the courtyard paths.

Reminiscing about the summer with my friends was crazy, especially when we all realized it had been about five months since we had all been together in the same place. Quarantine was crazy and somewhat fun, but I’m glad it’s over; I hope it’s over…

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