What’s it like being a senior during a pandemic? Well, I’ve been sitting at my desk for the past 8 hours or so, half listening to what my teachers on Zoom have to say. School sometimes feels like it takes forever, but by the time I’m dismissed from my last Zoom period I can’t seem to remember anything that went on in the past few hours. My room is stuffy despite the blaring fan and my eyes are blurry and red. It’s not easy staring at a screen, it’s easier to just close my eyes and listen. I’ve started to keep my camera off in all my classes anyway. Class discussions are a jumble of scratchy and cut up audios, occasionally a dog or two will bark and a cat will wander in front of someone’s laptop and accidentally mute the mic mid-sentence. Talking on Zoom is definitely a feat; staying silent in discussion based classes while having something to contribute is painful to sit through. I miss being able to go to class, I normally text my other Zoom friends post-lecture and laugh about what went on and our collective struggle. Learning was so much easier in real life. It’s hard, but I stay home for my family. 

The actual course load isn’t too bad, the best thing about online high school is that as a senior the teachers understand we have college essays, internships, jobs, and etc. A lot of my friends have complained about Senioritis, but I honestly haven’t felt it. The lack of motivation doesn’t seem to be tied to graduating and going to college, it’s more of a suffocating inability to do work. Surprisingly I get productive bouts of energy, but school work from home seems to be a black hole of adequate time with 0 desire to complete things. But still, working from home hasn’t been too bad, I manage to keep myself in check. It’s hard, but I stay home for my family. 

My senior season got pushed back, girls tennis usually occurs in the Fall but CIF pushed us back to spring. I haven’t been practicing as much as I should be, and the goal of working out to stay in shape disappeared after the first 2 months of the quarantine. Practice is starting up again soon, despite our summer schedule getting all messed up. Some of my teammates, as well as myself, are unable to attend fall practice because of the pandemic. Who knows if our season will even occur? Will we even play? I miss my sport and what was supposed to be the most exciting season of the 4 years I’ve had. It’s hard, but I stay home for my family. 

Being social during a pandemic was the only thing that didn’t change that much for me. I never really went out too much anyway, but the idea that I didn’t even have the opportunity or the chance to do so anymore was constricting. I kept the group of people I was hanging out with small, nothing that was out of the ordinary. Sitting out and having socially distanced picnics in the heat was uncomfortable, not to mention the masks which only made it harder to breathe. The hangouts I missed, the small parties that were thrown, each invite I politely responded with an “I’m so sorry, but I can’t go out because of COVID”. I really missed seeing my friends everyday at school and having no opportunity to see them except through FaceTime is saddening. It’s hard, but I stay home for my family. 

Being a senior amidst the pandemic has been a struggle. Everytime the world seems to be getting better, a new wave of issues hits and the case numbers go up. A seemingly unending force of nature unleashing its wrath upon the world. I regret not taking advantage of the life I lived before. I think of all the careless contact I had with people, how a simple embrace was just an act of affection rather than an act of rebellion. Sitting near friends, holding hands, sharing snacks, all things that were once normal now hard to come by. I’ll be 18 soon, I want to go out and live, but as of now I sit behind my desk and write. I’ve been forced to view the world now through my computer screen. It’s hard, but I stay home for my family.

Photo Credit: Jackie Liu