Quaran-teen Stories: Part 5
For the final installment of my teen interviews about the pandemic, I asked Sam A. what it was like to be a high school senior during quarantine.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I just graduated from Bishop Kelley High School. I love singing, board games, running, and eating at Raising Cane’s Chicken! During high school I participated in musical theatre, sang in a jazz choir and a men’s choir, was on my class board, ran cross country, helped lead student retreats, was a student council and national honors society officer, and participated in other leadership opportunities around school. This fall, I’m heading off to Oklahoma State University, where I plan to study economics with a pre-law option.
Q: It sounds like you did a lot! What was a normal school day like before COVID-19?
A: Before quarantine, a typical school day involved getting to school at 6:30 AM to start studying or catching up on my music. I had four classes per day (because Bishop Kelley has a block schedule) and then after school I would either go help the student council out, have jazz choir practice, or simply go and get some macaroni and cheese from Panera Bread!
Q: How did your daily life change due to COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order?
A: Because of the pandemic, my life changed drastically (as it did for everyone). I could no longer go in to school early to ask my teachers questions in person, we didn’t have jazz choir practice or student council meetings, and I couldn’t leave my house for pretty much any reason. Everything in my life came to a complete halt besides my school work, and it was difficult for me to focus on homework because I was in such a familiar and distracting setting.
Q: What has been the hardest part about all of this? Has anything good come out of it, do you think?
A: The hardest part about the pandemic was not being able to say goodbye to everyone at my school. Being a senior was especially hard this year because you wanted to experience your lasts in the best way possible, but it just couldn’t happen.
However, I believe that quarantine has helped me feel more grateful for the way things were before. I became more thankful for the little things in life like hugging a friend or casually talking to a group of people. Overall, living in a pandemic at the tail end of my high school journey was disappointing to say the least, but I did get to finish strong, and I am proud to say that I enjoyed my time at Bishop Kelley immensely.
Q: What do you feel is important for people to keep in mind during this time?
A: To all of you kids who are dreading school next year, let me tell you this: Do not be afraid! Go into the school year with vigor and a positive attitude. Cast away your fears of uncertainty and your fear for a lack of new beginnings or a perfect final chapter to your fairy tale ending. Go with the flow and know that this is just another bump in the road which we call life. It may seem like the end of the world, but I promise you that there will always be light at the end of the tunnel!
Thank you, Sam, for sharing your encouraging message!