It’s Monday morning. My alarm goes off at 7:45 a.m., and I rub the sleep out of my eyes as I am about to begin another week of online school. I shuffle out of bed and walk to my desk, where I will be spending most of my day glued to a computer screen. Finally, lunchtime comes, and I walk downstairs to complain to my parents about another day that I can’t spend in the classroom.
I have been doing this whole online school thing for a year now, and I’m so over it.
Up until recently, I saw the bright side of all of this. I have more time to get my homework done. I can get more sleep. We have Wellness Wednesdays. Until recently, everything seemed easier, and I felt happier. While the workload increased as I went into junior year, I felt less stressed about getting things done because I had more time.
Eventually, though, I realized that having more time is not a good enough reason to like going to school online. Being cooped up all-day is boring and lonely. Even though I’m in a house with other people, we’re all doing our own thing during the day, and I’m just stuck in my room doing schoolwork.
This is why I am looking forward to going back to school after spring break for hybrid learning. My stress will increase because I will be busier, but it will all be worth it.
While I am able to see my friends outside of school often, it’s not the same. I used to be able to see people at school every day, and I now make more time outside of school to spend with friends because seeing faces on Zoom is not the same as in-person. I enjoy talking to my friends during class and at lunch which is a luxury I cannot have at the moment. I want to be able to socialize with people outside of my family, in-person, every day. It’s not easy spending the majority of the day inside a bedroom at a desk. I’m really looking forward to the more frequent interactions I can have once we go back to school because a large part of school is talking to classmates and friends.
To add to the social aspects of school I miss, looking at a computer screen all day is tiring. When the year started, I had headaches every day for about a week as my eyes were adjusting to looking at a screen for so long. FSH has worked hard to do what it can. One of my teachers gives us a five-minute screen break in the middle of class so that I am able to get up and give my eyes a rest for a few minutes. At the end of the day, though, school is occurring on Zoom, and it’s hard to avoid the screen time. Even after school when I get excited that the school day is over, my enthusiasm quickly fades as I realize that I have multiple hours of homework that has to be done on my computer. When we get back to school, I am looking forward to having class face-to-face rather than through Zoom. I am looking forward to my eyes not being so tired and being able to interact with a teacher in-person instead of over Zoom. I’m excited about doing science labs with people again rather than inside my room. I’m even looking forward to walking up the steep flights of stairs around campus while getting from class to class.
Finally, we only get to experience high school once. When Covid started, I was a sophomore. Now, I’m almost a senior. My classmates and I lost a large portion of our high school lives. While I have so much anger about this whole situation, I can’t even imagine what 12th graders are going through, because they are losing their senior year. People in Orange County have been going to high school five days a week since September, yet I haven’t been able to enter a classroom for the last year.
As we prepare to go back to school in April, I know things won‘t be the same, but I’m glad the world is getting back to normal.