I’ll be the first to admit that being locked inside for months on end — especially during my last semester of high school — isn’t fun, to say the least. But that’s my reality now. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced most countries around the world to issue a mandatory stay-at-home order, hitting high school seniors especially hard. Long-awaited events like prom, senior night and graduation have all either been cancelled or virtually reimagined. Even though it’s easy to see all that COVID-19 and quarantine has taken away from us, I’m here to mention a few things we’ve gained.
To pass the time, I’ve been plowing through a long list of classic movies I’ve always wanted to see. I watched “The Human Condition” trilogy, a series of films about World War II from a Japanese perspective, which all have three-plus hour runtimes. During the normal school week, I would never have had the time to watch these complex, fantastic films all in one sitting. I’ve also started reading more for pleasure than for a school assignment. And as for the books I am assigned, I’ve actually sat down and fully read them because I have the time — for once. In addition to that, I’m reading “War and Peace,” and to turn my brain off, the old Star Wars novels from the ’90s. I’m now working on writing a book of my own as well.
I’m able to wake up a full 90 minutes later now than I did before, which, after four years of waking up at 7 a.m. sharp is much-needed and well-deserved. There is also a distinct lack of school-related stress in my life. Throughout most of high school, due to the vast amount of work assigned, students get inadequate sleep. My teachers have largely relaxed the academic rigor, which decreases my stress levels during this global pandemic.
It’s disappointing that my last day as a student on a high school campus has come and gone, and I’m unable to see any of my friends in person. But the unprecedented amount of free time I have now makes it easier to explore my passions and to learn more about myself.