Connor Ray

Connor Ray is an Orange County high school student.

Sleeping in every morning as if it’s the weekend is something new to students around the world. Adapting to it is easy for most but it is not normal. We are used to getting up early and heading out the door to school before we can even fully wake up. 

For the first few weeks out of school, it felt as if it was spring break or summer, but as the time grew so did the boredom. At first, I was able to hangout with my friends. However, my parents’ restrictions for going out and doing things with others grew fast as the number of  COVID-19 cases began to worsen and increase across the state and country. While I understood why my parents were not allowing me to go out and be with friends I was not happy about it. I tried to think of as many excuses I could to get them to change their minds. Thet did not work.

Now that I have been at my house and seen very few people since getting out of school I’ve had lots of time to think about how it has affected me and my peers, and also about what I’ve done to stay in touch with my friends to make my “quarantine” better.

Myself and just about everyone around my age who I have talked with seem to be dealing with things about the same. I usually sleep in for a few hours more than I would if I was going to school. I’m the type of person who likes to sleep as little as possible. Surprisingly, it has felt good waking up later. It’s not like I am missing very much. When I do finally wake up I usually have no rush to get out of bed unless I have a virtual class. But even then there is not much that has to be done to prepare for the class.

Most of my virtual classes are the same as when our teachers prepare and post our assignments on Google Classroom or Canvas, which is where we would usually find our work in class at school. The main struggle now is not having our teachers on hand to help as we would have in regular class. We are able to email or call our teachers if we have any questions, which is very helpful. 

Another thing teachers are doing is holding Zoom meetings. Students join a video call where our teachers can go over work, answer our questions and give us help in any other ways we need. The teachers are working as hard as they can to keep us engaged at this time and they’re making sure we do not lose anything we had previously learned. They’re also trying to better prepare us for our future classes that will build on the material from this year.

After my school work is completed, I get on my phone and check all my social media and catch up with my friends. One way my friends and I have managed to keep in touch is by making a group chat. This group chat was started a few months back, and it has really helped me and my friends stay close during this time of not seeing each other in person. The group chat consists of myself and nine close friends from school. We always have a good conversation going to keep us entertained.

From about the time I finish my school work to dinner I socialize with friends on my phone. I might also go for a walk, skateboard, workout or just hang out with my family and find something fun to do. In the evening my family eats dinner and this is when we catch up with our parents who have been working from home for most of the day.

Next is when we all wind down. We sometimes watch a movie or play a game with the whole family, which is something we were not able to do in the past because me and my siblings were always participating in extracurricular activities and sports. I play football and lacrosse. COVID-19 has had a direct impact on both of these, especially lacrosse. We were only able to get a few games into the season before school was released and sports seasons were cancelled. To make things even worse for our team was that we were on track to have one of our best seasons ever, going undefeated in the games we played up until the season was ended early. 

Some other things I am able to do with my free time in the evening is texting and calling friends, finishing up schoolwork, playing video games and listening to music. At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I sometimes think back on the day and how crazy everything in the world is right now.

It is a new experience for everyone and I hope it is something we can all grow from and use to make the world a better place. I have started to understand how much teachers care for their students and how hard they work, even when many of their students are not doing work that they spend so much time making. This includes myself at times. I have also gained a greater appreciation for doctors, nurses and first responders who put their lives on the line, each day, to keep everyone else safe and healthy.