Opinion: My Life at Home

It’s Monday morning. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not excited that I don’t have to go to school. It’s so refreshing to be at home. I wake up at 5 am every weekday and get home at 7:30 pm. I’m so burnt out on a regular school day that I rarely get to appreciate being at home and in bed. 

It’s Monday night. I get the announcement from my team commander, Jessie, that we won’t be having armed drill practice for the time being. After that announcement, I get scared. We always have practice: rain or shine. Panic is slowly sinking in. 

It’s Tuesday. I spend the entire day lounging around, and I would like to think it’s going to be nice, but I’m feeling really drowsy after the change in my personal schedule. 

It’s Wednesday night. Everything is settling into my brain. I’m watching Kristen’s PG 19 video on Youtube, and I start to cry. I didn’t compete that year, but the competition at Daytona this year was the only thing I was looking forward to. Now it’s not determined if we’re even competing virtually this year. The song playing in the back of the video makes every tear taste even saltier than the last. 

I miss my team members. I miss doing push ups with them. I miss seeing their faces for hours on end on a Saturday. I miss being with them. I miss seeing Brandon throughout my day. It’s true when they say someone can be your energizer. He’s been my personal ray of sunshine for such a long time that not seeing him makes me feel sluggish. 

More tears start to fall as I get into my own thoughts. 

“What if we have a drift in our relationship after this?” 

“What if he doesn’t like me after this time away?” 

“What if he doesn’t want to talk to me after this?  

Ella Ong

Working on my self-confidence was something I really wanted to improve this year. However, this lockdown has been making me think pessimistically about a bunch of aspects in my life. I turn off the lights in my room and sit there with the laptop screen staring at me as Kristen’s video keeps playing. 

I want to be able to go outside again…

Staying home was something I really wished I was able to do since the beginning of sophomore year. The first few days of the lockdown were okay. I was really enjoying the rest. After the third day, every little thing started to set in;  I won’t be able to see the people I’m so used to seeing everyday. I won’t be able to compete in the hot, humid weather of Florida, something I’ve been waiting to participate in since freshman year. My physical body may be resting well, but my mental health is slowly deteriorating the longer I stay at home. The workload is heavier even though it’s only one assignment. I’m not procrastinating as much since everything is online, but everything is so overwhelming to the point where I just want to sleep my days away and pretend everything is okay.

Online learning is something that I’ve always wanted to try if I never went to a public school. It always fascinated me. However, even though it seems accessible, it’s harder to interact as a class. A key part of having a real life class is the interaction between the students and the teachers. I find it harder to communicate with the teachers because the audio can overlap and the teacher won’t be able to hear everyone at once. In addition, the work deadlines are all different. It’s hard to keep track of all the work, especially since teachers have different times for deadlines. The work may be one assignment on a Google Classroom document, but once I open it, there are 5 subparts, 2 videos, and 6 questions to answer. It’s so overwhelming at times that I just want to close my laptop and pretend I don’t have work to complete.

Sometimes I complain about being at school for around 12 hours everyday, but honestly I don’t mind it all the time (except for Wednesdays because of uniform inspection). It’s really nice seeing my team members first thing in the morning and having them be the last people I say goodbye to before I go home. It’s hard staring at my screen for long periods of time.  I know in this day and age I’m always glued to my phone, but being at school for such a long period of time really helped me regulate the time I spend on technology. By my next eye appointment, I’m pretty sure my prescription is going to change for the worse. 

When the news about the coronavirus first broke out towards the end of last year, no one really said anything about it. However, when the news started to spread that it was causing people to be hospitalized, people in our community started to panic. I walked to school one Monday morning and there were two students walking behind me. They were talking fairly loud so I lowered the music on my AirPods to be able to listen to what they were saying. They said that the Chinese with the coronavirus wouldn’t possibly come to school with masks. They said they would dress normally and then spread it to everyone. Being that I was the only person in the vicinity, it was obvious to me that they were implying those comments to me even though it seemed like I wasn’t paying attention. 

This epidemic is only going to grow as time continues to pass. I’m praying at 2 in the morning when everyone should be asleep. I’m muttering my prayer and clenching my hands together tightly hoping for something good to happen soon. I’m glad everyone I know is safe, but I can’t be sure that we’re all going to stay safe for long. I’m rewatching all the seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, but I’m not really paying attention to it. I’m thinking about all the people I miss seeing everyday. You never really get to appreciate something until you can’t have it.

This lockdown makes me appreciate all the people I have in my life even more than I already did before. I’m doing all my assignments and answering all my attendance questions, but my mental state is just dying off. Everything to me feels numb, and sometimes I can cry about it and sometimes I can’t. I’m living each day just like the last:  slowly inching by and counting down the days I can see the people that make me feel happy, even if it’s just for that short while I’m away from home.