PARKLAND, FL- I am sixteen years old, and I have learned more things about life during these past few weeks than have throughout my entire life. Every day is a new learning process for me as I read, watch, and hear about what is happening in not only our country, but the entire world. It feels like almost every single day more bad news is announced, so I am learning to appreciate my life and everyone around me. Everything can change forever in just a blink of an eye, and these few weeks have been a clear example of that. Yes, I miss my “normal” life, but staying safe at home is the only way things will get better.  

Yes, we are in isolation, but no, we have not stopped learning. School has transferred to online learning, due to the spread of COVID-19. Personally, I believe there are many pros and cons to the new process. I love being able to complete everything on my own time, and not having to rush assignments. Also, I enjoy being able to sleep in and relax throughout the day, which I didn’t get to do often when we were in school. I have learned that there are also many things that make it difficult for me to learn to the best of my ability. I find it is quite difficult for me to stay focused on assignments and learn new things. I am easily distracted by many things, such as my phone and siblings, so it is hard to accomplish each assignment in a timely manner. Also, it is quite difficult for me to learn lessons through a computer screen, especially math. 

Looking back on my life before isolation, I realize that I took many daily activities for granted. I always counted on having practice, seeing my friends, and even just going to the grocery store.  Every day I wake up thinking about what I wish I could be doing but cannot. That just goes to show how much I underappreciated everything. When isolation is over, I hope to do everything with purpose, excitement, and love, so I achieve the best experience out of everything. I never realized how much I loved the little things, until I couldn’t do them anymore.

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Isolation has me missing many things, including school and my friends. One activity that I miss the most, is color guard. I miss my teammates, coaches, the activity, and having a general routine. Color guard gave me something to do five days a week, so not having it is a big change. I think about what my life would be like if isolation never occurred, and it would be color guard filled. We would have gone to our Orlando Regional and our Dayton, Ohio Championship. We would also be starting our spring training for marching season at Douglas; this is now taking place via zoom. Color guard was the biggest part of my weekly routine, so it is difficult to find things to fill up that time. 

The situation we are in may not be my favorite thing, but it is what must be done to keep everyone safe, and I understand that deeply. I am so extremely thankful for our healthcare workers and the essential workers. They deserve to be thanked by everyone for their much appreciated work they are putting in and for putting their own health at risk. One day, we will go back to our “normal” lives, but for now this is how our lives are.

 

Delaney Walker is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.