My Experience of Being “Quarantined” Indoors
Celebrating a birthday stuck indoors is not ideal, but my family made the best of it. While on a grocery store haul, they even got me a cake. I did not get to do something amazing for my seventeenth birthday, but I did get to spend it with family. It made me realize just how lucky I am to have them by my side, during a time in which unimaginable circumstances have affected the lives of thousands.
During the extended time I have spent indoors, I have changed. Whether it is because I have been alone with my thoughts for so long, or because I have not been active outside for an unhealthy amount of time, I feel different.
For one thing, it has reaffirmed my understanding of the importance of time management. In the midst of chaos, one of the few things that remains constant is that I receive school work every day of the week. While everyone sleeps in until noon, I find myself hunched over a computer, trying to get a head start on the day’s assignments. I have spent more time than ever staring at a computer screen, trying to adjust to online learning. It is easier than ever to drown in my assignments if I don’t commit myself to learning each lesson as it comes. Especially because most of my teachers do not use programs to video call or livestream their lessons, it is on me to get the work done. At schools like mine, where missing a day of school is like missing a week, it is crucial that I find the motivation to wake up at eight in the morning each day to keep up. Though it was hard to adjust at first, I am becoming more and more comfortable with going through my school day at home. I even set the bell schedule as alarms on my phone to make sure I complete the assignments for my classes throughout the day.
At the same time, it has made me realize why I love going to school over staying home. As much as I love the freedom that comes with remote learning, and how understanding my teachers have been, I very much miss the socialization aspect of school that it cannot offer. Video chats and emails are not the same as having conversations with teachers and friends. I miss all of it: the daily meet-ups that I had with my friends early in the morning, the engaging conversations that I had with my classmates in English class, and the faces of everyone in my physics class trying to understand what my teacher was talking about. While I am not eager to return to the test-taking aspect of school, it is the human interaction that makes going back worthwhile.
However, while remaining trapped indoors, I have seen the importance of separation as well. Not just in terms of social distancing, but in regards to how it helps maintain healthy relationships. In my cozy apartment, I spend almost every minute with my family, because we have nowhere to go. It has become clear to me that we are not used to spending so much time together, and that we need space to breathe. Being near each other so much has naturally caused more arguments to arise. Even so, I think that we are learning to enjoy each other's company and take this time to appreciate one another. I realize how fortunate I am to have family members who are all safe and healthy.
This “quarantine” time has taught me some things about myself, as well as others. I do not know how long this is going to last, but I will continue to use this time thoughtfully.