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Reflecting on quarantine

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Reflecting on quarantine

Running back to the car because you left your polka-patterned face mask on your sun-tanned dashboard has become the new norm, in addition to leaving behind your wallet or keys.

For the past year, many people had to learn how to cope with the absence of loved ones, all the while being expected to maintain their physical and mental health.

The memories of touching door knobs without immediately sanitizing my hands afterward  haunts me. Life has rotated 180 degrees in what seems like a blink of an eye.

From a student’s perspective, we have missed out on so much. Whether it is crossing the stage at high school graduation, marking our entrance into the real world or finally being able to claim our college degree for all of our family to see, life has changed.

Those who attend university out of state are still expected to pay the entirety of their tuition cost.

Students are missing on crucial social gatherings, real life experiences and the full experience of classes they have been trying to take since they got accepted into university.

The level of productivity reached by the simple act of waking up in the morning, slapping on some false lashes and a fresh pair of clothes has been stripped away from us the moment the pandemic started.

Sitting in class may have felt tedious at times, but it gave many students a reason to crawl out of bed in the morning. Although, some students may benefit more now because of how easy it is to attend class.

Rather than waking up an hour and a half earlier to look the least bit presentable and drive to school, all one has to do is wake up and flip open their laptop. Class is in session and you’re right on time without even taking a step.

Distance learning definitely has its perks, especially for those who work full time and have families. Being able to achieve a diploma all the while making a paycheck and spending time with your family can be a nearly flawless lifestyle.

Yet many students still find themselves yearning for new experiences with new people. It’s hard not being able to truly go out there and achieve your dreams because of all the dangers out there in the world. Now we’re faced with a danger that can take you down with one trip to the grocery store.

Many students depend on hands-on learning techniques, and being in a physical classroom can serve to be a much more stimulating experience rather than staring at 20 blank black boxes aside from the one that your educator is sitting in.

Small talk is a thing of the past, along with friendly smiles shared among students within the hallways.

The experience of attending club rushes has been stripped away from students, and the ability to build healthy relationships with peers and professors has vanished just as easily. 

It’s hard to build connections and figure out your future path without being able to be physically present.

Zoom has made it easier for students to just jump on a call and say what they need to say or do what they need to do. Rather than stressing about getting to an appointment on time, they can just open their laptop or unlock their phone and they’re already there.

These last 12 months have also allowed people to do some soul searching, helping them focus on who they want to become. Ultimately, the life lessons learned will last a lifetime.

While some students tapped into their productive drive, others have tapped into focusing on their self betterment, whether it’s making the time to eat an extra meal or even getting an extra hour of sleep due to the lack of having to get ready and drive to class.

In-person classes and distanced learning have their own set of pros and cons during the pandemic.

While many horrible things have occurred, some people can also agree that there have been positives too. 

There is always a little light in the darkness, and when there is light, there is a way. In the big picture, we must be “the light.”