🏠😷🦠 Life As A QuaranTEEN 🦠😷🏠 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog Surrounding COVID-19 & the Associated School Closure
The outbreak of Corona has disturbed the peace within Hamilton County Schools!!!
Being that this virus is airborne, it’s easy to contract. This doesn’t affect teenagers as bad as it would the older adults we love.. The school board decided to let students out for two weeks only to later add two more weeks to our fabulous quarancation. This situation has been nothing but chaos for the graduating class. There’s whispers that school will be out for the rest of the year. Telling the seniors that it’s possible that they might not be able to have their senior prom or even walk the stage is going to be heartbreaking. Being a senior myself, I know this for a fact. Besides adding chaos to the senior population, Hamilton County has made a huge effort to ensure that students are able to eat during this time. They have set dates to pass out lunches to students at certain bus stops. They have also required teachers to provide work from students via online in order to keep up with grade requirements. It is hard being at home and being required to focus, but I believe by the end of the second week, students will be more in tune with how they can successfully continue their learning experience!
Most people think that being on a “break” away from school helps us be more relaxed and comfortable and possibly provides more time to recoup from a stressful school life. In turn we should be more productive and be ready to do work. That, however, is a common misconception among adults and teachers alike. The lack of structure that was dropped on us in a seemingly 24 hour time period, was more than an extended spring break for us. Our lives have drastically changed from our dependable 7AM-2PM schedules to: 9 to 1’s, 12 to 3’s, and 2 to 5 schedules. The amount of free time that mushes in with academic work, paid work, and self care is just a muddled, mixed up schedule soup. This is almost the equivalent as an 18 year old leaving high school and transitioning to college. Within a few months teens are shuffled into adulthood marked by later sleeping hours, leisure time mixing with school work, and a necessary self discipline. Now imagine instead of having a couple months’ transition, you condense that into a weekend and add on to the fact that there is no freedom to escape the place you reside. This is the situation we were thrown into and are expected to find some balance and that is the issue we as students are facing.
Week one of quarantine has been filled with confusion, constantly changing plans, and the first of many Zoom calls. This week I personally felt like a dog running on a treadmill after a bone on a string. I knew that I had a lot of assignments to do, so I broke it down so that I had different tasks to work on each day. However, it seemed that as soon as I finished one task I had to stop and read an email and add another task to the list. This has been one of the hardest weeks so far in the school year in terms of adjusting, staying afloat, and taking care of my mental health. It has been tough to self-regulate the time that I spend on school and with my family. I don’t want to spend too much time with my family or we will likely get annoyed with each other stuck in our house. Conversely, I don’t want to spend all day in my room working on school work as my mental health will quickly deteriorate. On the upside, I have been able to work with a cup of coffee, in leggings, and stop for cuddle breaks with my dog, which have all made working on things far more tolerable. I know that the week that is coming is going to be far better than the last, as my teachers and administrators have asked for our feedback and our adjusting to this new structure of life too. However, I worry about the students at other schools whose teachers aren’t as accustomed to technology or who don’t have teachers who will advocate for them and their mental health. I hope that by blogging and spreading awareness of these issues we are able to help these students, while still of course social distancing. I hope everyone reading this stays safe, stays away from me and others, and has plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer.