Quaran-teen Stories: Part 2
An interview with my friend Grace
For the second installment of my interviews about how COVID-19 has affected teens, I turned to my friend Grace E. to see what quarantine was like from a public-school perspective.
Q: Hi, Grace! What school do you attend, and what are some of your hobbies?
A: I just finished my junior year at Jenks High School. In my spare time I like to play the violin, bake, read, do yoga, and play tennis.
Q: Can you tell us what a normal school day was like for you before COVID-19?
A: I would normally get up around seven, and school started at 9:15. I had three classes before lunch, and three after. Then at 3:55 I’d take the bus home to do my homework and attend Challenge Girls, a girls’ Bible study.
Q: How did your daily life change due to COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order?
A: My school life changed a lot with the stay-at-home order. After spring break, Jenks started distance learning, and we began doing all of our work at home, from our Chromebooks. Some of my classes met on a Google Meet, and for others we just turned our work in online. I still had to take my four AP tests, but they were shortened a bit, which was nice.
Q: Do you have any tips or systems that helped you to manage your time and get your work done?
A: I found that keeping a consistent schedule helped me to get the most out of my day, so I’d wake up at about 8:30 and then start my schoolwork at 9:45. Depending on my workload, I could usually finish my schoolwork around 3:00. Then I had free time to watch movies and hang out with my family.
Q: What has been the hardest part about all of this? Do you think that anything good has come out of it?
A: It was hard to not get to see my friends very often. We did FaceTime some, but I didn’t get to say goodbye in person to my friends who were seniors, because I thought I would see them after spring break. Challenge Girls meetings ended for a while since we couldn’t meet in person. And some big events were canceled, like Jenks’ prom, and my family’s vacation. But I did really like that with distance learning, I didn’t have “homework” (just class work), so once I finished my assignments I had the rest of the afternoon and evening free. And I realized that going to school and seeing my friends is such a privilege and should not be taken for granted.
Q: What do you feel is important for people to keep in mind during this time?
A: I think it is important to remember that everyone is going through a similar experience, and even if we aren’t able to gather in person, technology can allow us to communicate. Reaching out to family and friends through video call is a great way to stay connected.
I want to say thank you to Grace for letting me interview her, and for sharing some helpful organization tips for school and life.