Photo by Charley Rich
Reminiscing on a year at home
I wake up at 7:40 each morning for a 7:42 start time and take classes from my bed or couch. I drink a bunch of water during my first one or two classes then brush my teeth during class. I get to eat when I’m hungry and I can do work at my own pace. This level of comfort and extra sleep made for a pretty great school year. Waking up at 7:40 instead of 6:00 am definitely makes up for the lack of social interaction. The convenience of being in my home during school hours made being virtual worth it. I’ve enjoyed making smoothies during english, petting my dogs during math, and sometimes taking naps in French. While some might say this made it more difficult for them to concentrate on schoolwork, I had the opposite feeling. Not exactly sure why, but because I knew I had everything I needed at home, it took the pressure off getting ready for in person school. With the layer of zoom between me and my teachers, I felt like I had more freedom to do what I wanted while looking terrible to learn and do classwork.
Doing school from home took some of the edge off of what would have probably been a very stressful junior year. Although there were times when the stress was still real, being at home made it much easier to deal with. We’ve all had times where a topic is particularly difficult and we get frustrated. Since I’m at home, I can cry over all the math problems I want to without that same feeling of embarrassment. Tests and quizzes didn’t seem as intense as they did in school. With no one going up to you right before asking how much you’ve studied, or informing you that the last class thought it was really hard, it made tests seem like just another piece of classwork. For some this might not be ideal but I do better work in lower stake situations. Virtual school even gave me the opportunity to live in Florida for three months during the winter! During the 88 minute lunch, I was able to take my dog running on the beach and join club meetings poolside.
There were times it would feel socially isolating, but my classmates were just a text away and there were always kids in zoom who would strike lively conversation. Group chats have been more active than they’ve ever been. What were once in school friends have become text friends which has expanded into more than just texts about school. School related group chats have developed into places where people update everyone on their lives and share funny TikToks they’ve found.
Although doing school from home may seem like it would cause a lower work ethic or more distractions, it has actually helped me stay focused on my school work since I get to do the things I want instead of being fixated on wanting to do them. I’ve gotten more sleep this school year than any year prior and feel way less stressed out than I would during a typical school year. I talk to fewer people than I would if I were in the building, but that social interaction is not something I personally crave. I definitely understand why people choose to go in person but for me, virtual was the best!