Natalie H. back in school from home. Courtesy Photo
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My Life as a Quaran-teen

By Natalie H.

On the evening of February 26th, everything seemed perfect. My grades were good and my mom and I were at a meeting preparing for our school trip to Europe. We were going to Italy and France in March. I’d worked for a year to save for this trip.

There was talk of some serious sickness in Italy called “Covid-19,” but the tour guides and teachers promised us that we would most likely have nothing to worry about. Soon after, life was put on pause, and the perfection crumbled. 

My lifelong dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower was “postponed.” I told myself it was alright. I was safer here than I would have been there. But I was not aware how untrue that was.

Spring Break came and went. I remember the Thursday before I was to return to school, my family and I were at the movies for what would be the last time for months. We heard the announcement that my little brother and I would not be returning to school after break.

 Come April, we still had not returned to school. My birthday had come and gone. My family has a tradition of going out to dinner at the birthday-person’s restaurant of choice. We ate take-out from a local restaurant (definitely not my favorite) on the couch

By the time May arrived, I’d finally started to get the hang of this whole “distance learning” thing. I ended the third quarter with straight A’s, and now the schools had decided that any online work we had done would simply be added as extra-credit to our previous grades. This effectively worsened my motivation.

The fourth quarter “online assignments” were mostly busywork and review, that was plain to see. I spent hours every day doing my assignments that were essentially to watch a video and fill in the blanks. I felt exhausted at the end of every day, maybe even more so than when I actually am at school. I suffer from migraines, and staring at a screen all day did not help.

So needless to say, I would like to return to school in August. I would like to get up in the morning and have to wear something other than pajamas. I would like to be a part of clubs. I would like to be held accountable for turning in hard work that I have done on rigorous assignments befitting of honors classes.

Much to my chagrin that come August 3rd, I will again be returning to my laptop in my pajamas. Maybe this time will be different. But then again, maybe it won’t.

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