Back in March, when quarantine first began, it felt like I was transported to an alternate universe where days stretched out to 25 hours but weeks fused into each other. My once busy schedule with school, activities, and friends was replaced with infinite free time in the confinement of my house. Time kept passing, everyone kept aging, but the world was put on pause.
Spring and summer have passed, and now that the school year has started back up, time seems to be going at a familiar pace again. My schedule is very different this year: online classes on Monday and Tuesday, meetings and activities on Wednesday, and in-person classes on Thursday and Friday. Even though I’m only in the school building two days per week in the hybrid model, those are my favorite days. I’m so grateful that I can connect with my friends and classmates beyond a computer screen because I know that a lot of students, for instance my sister who goes to a public high school, are not able to.
With all of the challenges that the pandemic brings, our world has adopted a new normal, and so has BB&N. Hallways are one-way, desks are three feet apart, lunch is eaten outside, and masks are worn at all times. It’s hard to imagine myself one year ago, sharing a seat with a friend during lunch in the busy Commons or riding in a crowded elevator.
Although the world and our school are very different, I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. During these difficult months, we’ve all had a lot of time to reflect. Not many people are the same as they were back in March because I believe we have all grown into stronger and more resilient people.
For me, I’ve recognized the importance of balance. During quarantine, having balance was very important for me when managing the abundance of free time. Spending too much time staring at a computer screen, either completing homework or attending zoom classes, would leave me exhausted. So, striking a balance between schoolwork, friends, exercise, and hobbies had huge benefits to my physical and mental health.
Balance applies to my life now, too. As a senior, I’ve been making efforts to savor my last year of high school while simultaneously planning for college and the future. At times, it’s difficult because while our enormous workload remains, all of the usual, fun senior activities have been canceled. Both living in the present and planning for the future are important to me. I am striving to strike a balance and dedicate the necessary time to each; I don’t allow one to dominate the other. Time is unconquerable, but I know that recognizing the importance of balance will help me have both a fun and productive end to high school.