This has been a scary and nerve-racking time for not only me, but many other people. For my dual-credit English class I was assigned to write daily about the effects of COVID-19 and how it has affected my family, disrupted my education, and how it has personally impacted me. I can say that all three of those areas in my life have been disrupted by the novel coronavirus. Being a high school senior during this historical period makes life even more stressful especially as graduation is supposed to be less than a couple months away. I would also like to encourage you, the community, to let you know that we can get through this and that we will.

I have recently noticed the behavioral change in my family that has occurred. This change has occurred because my family is very social and active in the community. Everyone seems to be acting a little crazier. The cause behind this behavior is the required practice of social distancing. My family enjoys the time they spend with their friends of the community and currently their happiness is being affected by this. However, we are making the best of this time spent together as a family. It’s important to my parents that we use this time together to grow in our love toward each other. Together we’ve made funny videos, watched movies, taught each other something, baked cakes, and even cooked together for our family enjoyment. So I encourage everybody else to do the same and make the most of this time spent with their families.

As a high school student, I never thought that I would be taking classes online while sitting in my bedroom. I am accustomed to sitting at a desk in a classroom and listening to the teacher give their lecture for the day. Because of social distancing my normal school routine has been disrupted. I no longer get to listen to my teachers’ voices or see their faces while in a classroom. I now sit at home in front of a screen for hours at a time and complete some of my assignments online. Although this is reality right now, I am very grateful for the efforts my teachers have made. They’re doing the best they can to make assignments hands-on and they have given me many resources and options to further my education from home. If I ever need help on an assignment I can email them, but it’s just not the same as talking to them in person. My education has also been disrupted by the thought that I may have to do school online longer than planned or maybe even graduate at a later date. Those possibilities cause me to worry, but also to remember that the staff is only following the commands that they were given.

Coronavirus and the regulations we now have to follow have impacted me greatly. I find myself feeling down some days. Why? I feel down because I miss seeing my classmates and hearing their voices. When you go through school you grow closer to your classmates and by the end of high school they become another family to you. I miss hearing their hilarious and sometimes cheesy jokes, their encouragement during sporting events or weights class, and most of all I miss their unique smiles and personalities. I never realized how much I would miss them until they were gone, but thankfully it’s only a temporary absence.

Something else that bugs me is that I am not running track because of social distancing. I miss the encouragement that everyone gives to each other and the hard work that they all put in. The track team is such a positive team that I just want to be around them all the time. This was supposed to be my last year of running track, and my last season of spending days at sporting events with my classmates and the underclassmen. Because of the coronavirus outbreak and social distancing, I may not be able to experience that. This causes my nervousness to grow each day. What else would I be nervous about? I am nervous about the competitions, retreats, youth group, and graduation. I may not get to experience my first choir competition or the escape rooms with the other National Honor Society members. I may not get to attend MYF anymore, and that is my favorite place to be on a Wednesday night. What I am most nervous about is graduation. It’s the grandest stage of all in high school. It’s a day where we get to celebrate with our families and the community. We get to celebrate together. You only graduate from high school once and I want to experience that. These possibilities cause me to ask myself, “Have I already experienced my last day at school with my classmates? Have I already attended my last night at MYF? Will there even be a graduation ceremony? Will I get to have my graduation reception?” The answers to all of those questions are still unknown, but all I can do is pray and hope for the best. I know that this virus will eventually pass.

Now to wrap things up:

I know this historical period in time is not very exciting or positive, but I fully believe that our community can be. Last year we experienced flooding and we got through that together. When someone falls extremely ill or begins a battle with cancer, we come together as one to fight with that person. We are small-town strong! I believe that WE CAN and WE WILL get through this together.

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