On Friday, March 13th, 2020, the day was like any other school day. Well, except for it being Friday the thirteen which is never a good sign. Today’s schedule was all periods since we were going to have an assembly but it got cancelled the day before due to rising concerns over Covid-19. I was excited for the assembly since I heard rumors that it was a glow in the dark theme. Me being excited for an assembly was rare since they would typically make me anxious. Covid-19 had been in the news and cases were starting to appear in the United States. I was scared but a part of me had hope that there would only be a few cases and it would soon go away. For now, I would continue my life the same.
In my second period I was sitting at the desk meant for student aid behind the receptionist for the counseling center. There was no work for us, which I was grateful for since they usually worked us to the bone. The lady in charge of attendance came over from the main office to talk to the receptionist. At first, I wasn’t paying attention to their conversation but I started to pick up bits of it. I could hear her saying “It’s going to happen, they’re going to close the school and we’re not coming back, anything you want to take home, do it today.” I started to get scared, it was like a zombie apocalypse, which didn’t make me feel well since my number one fear is
zombies. My heart started beating and I felt a wave of panic as my friends in our group chat were talking about how other school districts were closing and that we could be next.
In my third period is when things hit the fan. Our substitute put the movie Mulan which is one of my favorites but no one was paying attention to it; the whole class and the substitute were having a conversation about how the school might close and the magnitude of the situation. In our group chat, one of my friends wrote in all caps, “BRO, THEY’RE CLOSING THE
SCHOOL,” and how she just got an email. I immediately went to my email to see the same one. They were canceling school the upcoming week extending our spring break to three weeks rather than two. I then heard a voice ring across the classroom like a siren, “They just sent an email, they’re closing the school.” You can feel the mood in the classroom change from happy to worry. At first, we were happy because our spring break was extended and we were getting more time off. But it changed to worry, what if we never came back? We were seniors, what about prom and graduation and our AP tests? So many things went up into the air in a matter of a few
seconds. We were told that the virus would soon go away and we would come back to school. But I knew we were never coming back. We only had two more months until the end of the school year, how could a virus go away in such a short period of time. I felt like crying, I felt paralyzed and my mind went blank, I just knew I was worried. I knew that a normal day was becoming the final day of our high school time.
In fourth period, I remember my teacher trying to lift our spirits by saying that it would soon be over and it won’t get too bad. But, I didn’t believe her, the pessimistic in me took control of my mind. At lunch, I hung out with my friends and tried to soak it in like a sponge knowing it would be the last time we would hang out together at school. In my last class, AP Calculus, our teacher let us do whatever we wanted. I hung out with one of my friends but we were so drained from the school day, we sat there and did nothing. We couldn’t wait to go home, we kept checking the time. That last period felt like it was a thousand years long. I couldn’t help but to think, “Is this how my last day of high school is going to end, us just sitting here doing nothing?” I didn’t want the day to end because it was my last day of school, my last day with my friends, with classmates that I’ve known for four to six years, and my last time in this school. It was such an abrupt end to my senior year. It felt like someone turned off the movie before the happy
Over the past five months my state of mind would be in for a ride. For the next two weeks I enjoyed my time at home, I just chilled and had fun. It was like I was a young kid once again with no responsibilities. As time went on, cases were rising and people were quickly losing their jobs, my household included. The honeymoon period was over and it was time to get serious. Stress was rising in our house like a towering wave on the beach, we didn’t know where we were going to get income from. Our house became chaotic, my mom worries a lot about money and has been working since she was 19 years old. The sudden change of losing her job made her on the edge. She became anxious, depressed, and had difficulty sleeping. In turn we all
became tense which caused so many fights. I started getting concerned about money and the uncertainty of the future. In April, I returned to school in the form of distance learning. Waves of stress in the house came crashing down on me that made it difficult to do any school work.
In May nothing happened except for my birthday on the fourteenth. On that day, my family and I were stuck at home. We had cake but since we couldn’t see any of our extended family we did Google Hangouts with them. It felt weird to talk to a computer on an important day such as my 18th birthday. I wanted to interact with them in person. We were originally going to eat out at a fancy restaurant but we couldn’t now. When I turned eighteen, my family kept telling me, “You’re an adult now, does it feel different?” and I would say, “No, it feels the same.” But as time went on, I felt different, I had to answer calls rather than my mom, make my own appointments, and do so many things on my own. It pushed me to reevaluate my own skills and who I was as a person. I felt bad because I wasn’t up to par with what I thought was expected of me. I then graduated high school but I didn’t feel like I did because I didn’t have the proper closure on that chapter of my life.
After my birthday and graduation, I decided to use the endless time I had to better myself, so I started to work out, try to make myself more happy, and try to work on my Spanish. Still the days felt like a copy and paste of the same day over and over again. There was nothing keeping me busy except for working out and doing chores around the house. I felt like I was dying of
boredom. With nothing to do, I would let my mind wander and start thinking negative thoughts about myself. I couldn’t wait to start college so I have something for my mind to be preoccupied with. But I didn’t like how I would have to pay for books and supplies. I felt bad because with the limited money that we had, my family was spending it on me. But now that I’ve started college, I feel like I have a purpose again. I’m making use of my time to progress myself as I try to make it through this very new time in my life. Since the start of the pandemic, life has felt like a rollercoaster with lots of scary and sudden turns however I am hopeful for the future.
Submitted by Mariana, San Diego County – National City.