COVID-19 struck everyone differently. I was one of the lucky ones. I have a safe and quiet environment where I can do my work. I have my own computer and my own work space. Some kids aren’t so lucky; they have a smaller space with more people. This time was a great way for me to grow closer to my family. My mom and I have begun watching a movie series, and my dad just watches for a little, never sits down, then goes downstairs to continue his work. My dad is definitely a workaholic—he works from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep. My mother, on the other hand, has a very emotionally draining job, so she needs her time to decompress. I have gotten to know my parents much better.
There is also the topic of the dinner table. I have dinner with my family almost every night, another reason I am lucky. Living in a biracial house, there are a lot of different opinions; we have had heated arguments and long discussions that go on for hours. It is also a different feeling being in isolation without my sisters. Both my sisters left for college, so this year was the first year I was alone by myself with my parents. All of a sudden, I couldn’t even hangout with my friends, and I was stuck at home with my parents. My mom and my dad have some different opinions on the subject of friends, but they usually come to the conclusion I can hangout with my friends as long as I wear a mask, eat my own food, and have no sleepovers. As hard as it has been not being able to hang with my friends, I love the time with my parents. I am happy with my isolation so far. I have gotten much better sleep and have had more free time than I know what to do with.
Online school is another obstacle; being a junior and having to balance the weight of learning and actually absorbing the information can be very stressful. I care about my education, and I would never want to miss out on information I may need in the future. Sometimes it can be easy to get distracted, but sitting at a table and having a quiet space really helps. Online school is another blessing. It is something that allows us to stay in school, but without the contact that might endanger the health of students and faculty. Our current situation is creating a lot of mental health issues, feelings of loneliness, and having to stare at a computer screen all day. Teachers have been amazing throughout this entire time; they have been understanding and flexible. They work very hard to make sure that we are educated and have the resources as well, and that is extremely important to me and my parents.
Mental health has affected me and my family. My mom always worries about me and always asks me questions. I love her for it. She is also concerned about my sisters who are away at college. She is especially worried about Hanna, since it’s her first year at school. My sisters are all very close and my mom loves us so much. I think COVID makes her nervous, but what parent wouldn’t be? With volleyball on hold until after the holidays, it can be hard to workout too, which is another huge reason my mental health is okay throughout the normal school year. I have had to work harder at being motivated to get up and do workouts myself. Luckily, I have friends who like to workout too, and that’s a big way I stay sane during the pandemic. COVID has given me a much needed break. I honestly am not sure how I will get up and get to school before 7:30 when the pandemic ends. Although with a vaccine in the news, hopefully I will have to return to school and things will start to return to normal.