Frannie: It’s been a whole month since we’ve begun online schooling. 30 days. I’ll be honest, it’s been pretty difficult. I miss seeing my friends every day, going to all my clubs and extracurriculars. I miss school. Three words I never thought I’d say. As much as I miss old life, quarantine has taught me a lot. It’s taught me how to be okay doing nothing. It has reminded me that I am blessed with a healthy life and a good family. I’ve really appreciated hanging out with my family. Usually, I was always at theater rehearsal until six o’clock, and later as it went on. Now I get to eat dinner with my family. We watch Wheel of Fortune together every night. Honestly, my family has made quarantine really fun for me. I’m really grateful for this opportunity to be with my family, especially so close to college. There’s always a bright side to these crazy situations, and getting closer with my family is mine.
Natalie: Although the thought of being in quarantine for a month seemed daunting and horrific initially, I have to admit that I have not completely hated it. I have been able to find the joy in doing things that I never used to seek out, like walking my dogs, cooking dinner for my family, and even doing homework. I am very blessed to have sisters whom I genuinely enjoy hanging out with and definitely make me laugh. One of the most difficult aspects of quarantine thus far for me has been searching for motivation. In the second semester of junior year, most people probably already find themselves struggling to keep up with such a heavy workload after pushing so hard all year long. It makes it much more difficult to be in this position when you aren’t physically in school. Apart from the difficulties of junior year online, quarantine has been a positive experience. I have been able to see more clearly the blessings in my life, and distance sure does make the heart grow fonder of the people and things you love.
Anna D: When quarantining started, I viewed it as an opportunity to be grateful for what I usually don’t acknowledge. After a few long boring weeks filled with a lot of television, sleeping, and sitting by myself in my backyard, I can honestly say I still feel the same way. With the weather getting nicer, I have realized what a luxury it is to be able to enjoy the outdoors with other people, which unfortunately we cannot do right now. I am also realizing how lucky I am to not be directly affected by coronavirus yet, while so many people are suffering in different ways from it. I am counting down the days until we reach the peak, but I’m trying to stay positive knowing that when this is over, reuniting with my friends will be better than ever. Until then, I’m taking this time to get healthier, start things I have been putting off for awhile, de-stress, and recognize how lucky I am to have what I used to take for granted.
Grace E: After nearly a month of social distancing, I am ready for it to be over. I have watched a long list of movies and made a wide variety of crafts and recipes, and now it almost seems as if my list of things to do is shortening at an alarming rate. I’ve realized during this time that I am an extremely restless person. Consequently, if I’m not doing something productive, I feel bad about it. I guess this quarantine has taught me that it is okay to do nothing sometimes. (Side note: I have not baked anything in nearly two weeks and it’s kind of killing me so I guess I’ll have to fix that soon.) Other unnecessary things that I have done during quarantine include: rearranging my room, reading all of the Harry Potter books for the thousandth time, and sporadically cleaning random rooms in my house. As you can tell… the boredom is getting to me. I am hopeful that this pandemic will end soon, for everyone’s sake.
Moira: Online school, staying inside of my house, and not being able to leave is becoming the new reality. Almost a month ago was when I discovered that we would be doing online school, at first I thought it would only be for a week or so. However, it turned out to be so much more. Waking up every morning 20 minutes before class starts, doing occasional homework in between classes, listening to my parents work from home on conference calls, and occasionally going for walks or hitting the tennis balls. This has become a new reality for me, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, my life has completely changed and this was something that I never expected. I would always make the joke when I was stressed out with school that I would go and try online school instead, however I will never make that joke again. Although I do like online school, I miss being at Marian, seeing my friends, and teachers every day. I’m finally adjusting to online school and sadly realizing that this is going to be the new “normal”. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it made me realize how much I take everyday life for granted. I cannot wait for the day where I can walk through the doors of Marian High School and get back to my normal everyday life with my Marian family.
Megan H: It has been a month since I have left my house other than to walk my dog or go for a run. Online school has been going well. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with school work, but that is normal junior year. I like that I am able to work on things at my own pace and oftentimes I finish the classwork before class time is over. I am, however, really tired from looking at my screen all day. I don’t only look at my screen all day for school, but also after school for any interaction with anyone but my immediate family, to read books, and many other things, all of which I would normally not do on a screen. I have not picked up any new hobbies, but I have spent more of my time reading and cleaning the house. I am not bored because I am used to not always leaving my house. I do miss seeing my grandpa, even though I call him it is not the same, and seeing my friends. However, I am very grateful and am trying to make the best of the situation, because no one I know is sick and other than not being about to leave my house, not that much has changed in my life.
Margaret: After 30 days of quarantine I’m finally working out a routine. Sleep, eat, binge, and possibly homework. It hasn’t been easy, but I have people in my life who are there to help me. My family has made a point to play activities, walks, time outside, game nights, and movie nights. This time in quarantine has given me a chance to appreciate what I’ve missed due to my busy schedule. The major negative that still persists is the lack of stimulation. Online school doesn’t offer the same challenge as regular school, it doesn’t get me up in the morning like it used to. There is only so much to do at home, but at the same time there are many things I have learned. I just hope that the quarantine will be over soon, but until then I’m sure my family will be able to keep ourselves entertained.
Lexi K: School. Netflix. Work out. Eat. These are what my days have consisted of for the past month. When I first heard about the idea of being quarantined, I thought it would be awful being stuck at home and not seeing my friends. Something about it has made me appreciate everything so much more and I’ve actually been pretty happy though. I’ve gotten the chance to bond more with my family, start exercising and take time for myself. However, I’ve started to go a little crazy in my house. One could say I have cabin fever. I miss my friends incredibly and making memories with them. I miss my whole dance season being taken away. I miss ordinary life and being able to go out without fear of catching COVID-19. There is some good in this terrible situation. I think people will start appreciating things better and have a different outlook on life, but right now it’s hard not knowing when we will get to start normal life again. My hope is to have a normal summer and first semester of senior year and get rid of this life-changing pandemic.
Anna K: After a month of being stuck at home with my family, I am ready for this to all be over. I have discovered that there is truly no privacy in a home with five people. I do have to say though, it has not been all that bad. I enjoy online school because I have more freedom to stick to my own schedule and I feel like I have more time in my day to get caught up on the random things that fill my todo list. While I miss my friends more than anything, I have come to appreciate this time as a break to focus on myself so I can come back less stressed. I have had more time to do the things I love that I normally would not do because of soccer and other activities. I am hopeful that I can keep myself motivated during this time and something good can come out of it.
Maddie M: For the last month the only thing that has been on the news is COVID-19 in some way, shape or form. Whether it is positive stories of a local member of the community donating masks, the homeless shelters pleading for food or up-to-date statistics of cases in the nation, local and national news has been taken over by our current pandemic. With the rising possibility of social distance getting extended until summer, next fall or even until we find a vaccine, it is hard to remain in high spirits. I know many of my friends and myself included just keep saying how we “want life to go back to normal.” But, as we know, the primary goal is to keep ourselves and others safe, so we have to make the best of what is given. Every day my goal is to find the good in this altered way of living. I personally am not a fan of online school, but it engages my brain during the day and gives me an opportunity to collaborate with classmates. When we are blessed with warm weather, I enjoy spending my time outside. I also have had a lot of time to catch up with friends and connect closer with my family. Until we can “return to normal,” I am focusing on trying to make the most of what I am given.
Sam: After a month, staying at home has not been as bad as I was expecting. I have lots of free time to pick up new hobbies and catch up on things I have forgotten about. Currently I really enjoy working out. I find it a good way to use my energy while I can not play sports, and a way to escape when I feel like I can no longer tolerate my family. I have found a good way to keep yourself motivated with exercise is to challenge a friend to a fitness competition if you have a smart watch. I have been extremely busy with schoolwork, which is not fun, but passes the time. School has been a lot of work, but overall, I like the online school. The only downside is I do not get to see my friends. I am trying to enjoy my free time because I know before long I will feel overbooked and always busy again.
Sylvia: After a full month under lockdown, I’ve seemed to adapt pretty well. My mom has made my siblings and I alternate who cooks dinner each night. Not as fun as it sounds, pretty tough if you ask me. I also fixed my dirt bike, so I have gotten back into that. Truly I don’t mind staying home. I don’t even mind the online school. The thing that really irks me is not being able to visit family and friends. I know it’s mandatory to stay home; it is just bothersome to know all of them have been quarantined for weeks and are safe to be around. I feel this has impacted the class of 2021 pretty harshly in general as well, as it is our junior year. A time for us to get out and experience new things. Overall, I have hope that this will not last as dreadfully long as people claim.
Sarah: Over the past month I have gotten used to being in my room and around my family all the time, but I still miss my friends a lot. My brother came home from college, and it is nice to have someone near my age around again. When I am in my room, I find myself looking at the photos of friends on my bulletin board or the track lane stickers from last season. I am still trying to change my mindset from sadness that I cannot experience these moments anymore to looking forward to when I can again. I really hope the situation will be better by summer! Getting outside is nice, and I have said hello to a lot of neighbors I have not seen before. Before quarantine I sometimes saw nobody outside, and now I see a lot of people. It makes me happy that the weather is getting nicer, and I hope we will get to enjoy spring and summer with friends soon.
Emily S: About one month has past since quarantine began and my life outside of my house came to a halt. At the start of this period of isolation, I wasn’t too worried about not being able to go to school every day because I looked at the situation as a way that I would be able to stay in bed all day while still going to class four times a day. However now I am missing walking through the halls of Marian High School more than anything, and I long to be in a classroom with all my Marian sisters sitting beside me. I am honestly very worried for what summer will bring because once online school is over, I’m not going to have anything to do during the day so I’m going to truly be bored out of my mind. The worst part about this time is the fact that no one can know how long it will last. It is that uncertainty that makes me most anxious for what the future holds.
Molly S: This past month has been a rollercoaster of emotions. It started off with confusion, then frustration, to sadness, but now I have finally learned to accept and enjoy it. Although I’m sad I can’t see my friends or go to school every day, I have realized that being stuck in the frustration and sadness stage won’t get me anywhere. I have watched an entire series on Netflix, played games I haven’t since I was a kid, done some arts and crafts, and just overall taken some much needed time for myself. I think this pandemic has caused so much harm, but also has shown many people what it’s like to just slow life down for a bit, which was much needed for the pace our society was going at before all of this. In recent days, with talk about not opening in the fall or finding more alternatives, it has made me look back on my time at Marian and pray that it’s not all I got. I have hope that I will still be able to see my friends this summer, attend my family reunion in July, and start off my senior year at Marian in August with my classmates by my side, but I know it is out of my control and if it doesn’t go as planned, I just hope everyone comes out of this crisis as a more thankful and loving person and I pray that it gets better sooner rather than later.
Grace S: It has been about one month into quarantine and it has become normal to me. I am trying to make the best out of this situation because there is really nothing else I can do. I have been enjoying the outside if the weather allows, which has not been too often in Nebraska. I am giving my school work a lot of attention because I have no other distractions like I would have before this. I have been going through old photos and videos with my family which is really fun. I think it is important to stay connected with everyone as much as possible so I have been calling and FaceTiming my extended family and friends a lot. I am trying to keep updated with the news, so I know what is going on in the world. I am really hoping this virus will be passing sooner than later so we can all go back to enjoying our lives with each other.
Mary Cate: It has been about one month since quarantine has begun and I have started to get a hang of this new normal. I miss seeing my friends every day and going to school but I am trying to make the best of a situation I can not control. I have been FaceTiming my friends frequently and spending a lot of time with my family which has been nice. This whole thing has really made me appreciate everything in my life, especially the small things like driving my carpool every day, going to get smoothies, and just being able to run to the store. I am counting down the days until summer and when life can go back to normal. With this difficult time it has made me really thankful for all the things I do have. I hope things will go back to normal soon, but for now I am grateful for everything in my life, especially my health.
Sophia V: After a month of weekends at home, school through a screen, and a small amount of social interaction, I’ve almost gotten used to this new reality. Every day I still count down the days until summer, when hopefully this will all be over and I can see my friends and interact with my grandparents. I’ve never been a fan of using technology to communicate, but I’m grateful to stay connected through it. I wonder what I would be doing right now if I had returned to school after spring break. I know I’d probably be complaining about school, but this pandemic has opened my eyes and I have realized how grateful I am for the little things like getting coffee, going to school, seeing my friends in the morning, saying “hi” to people in the hallways, and coming home to my family. I’m thankful that I got to experience these things and reflect in them. I hope I can experience them again, even if that takes waiting.
Anna V: After one month of being trapped inside my house I have come to realize the amazing everyday things that should be appreciated more. The largest and most obvious is my friends. I miss seeing my friends in the hallways and in my classes. My friends help to make life less boring and now only being able to see them through a screen is just not the same. The second thing I miss most is swimming and my teammates. I am used to swimming around five to six times per week. Now that most pools are drained and closed my life feels a lot more dull without the long two hour practices. The last thing I have come to appreciate is nature and the freedom to be outdoors. Yes, we still can go outside but it is not as freeing going into your backyard as going out and exploring the world.
Cece: After one month of being “quarantined,” I have become accustomed to staying at home and online school. Now the thought of seeing friends and leaving the house seems so far from reality. Nobody knows when this is going to end, which is the scary part. Eventually when we are allowed to go back to normal life, it still will not be normal. I have started to accept this reality. At first I was sad because everything coming up in my life was cancelled. Now, I have become immune to coronavirus news. When something is cancelled, even if it is months from now, it does not surprise me. The part I worry about is my senior year. I fear that school may be delayed in the fall and I may not get a normal senior year. Even though everything has been cancelled in my junior year, I am still holding onto a lot of hope that my senior year will not be affected.