Until writing this editorial, I had not thought of what Covid-19 has taught me. It has been an unexpected time for all of us with changes to school, jobs, sports and activities. I have learned a few lessons during this pandemic, including how to cope with anxiety. It is normal for everyone to have their anxiety level grow higher during this time. One of the main ways to cope is to try to think of activities that you enjoy. For example, I take runs around my neighborhood to get rid of anxiety, do workouts at home instead of the gym thanks to Kelly Fry, help my family with chores, or watch movies.
Not going to school, and attending my normal daily activities, has also made me realize the importance of friends in my life. I realized that I am a person who needs human connection. From laughing during lunch, to band with Mr. Luckey, to all my classes and activities, the best I can do right now is keep in touch through technology until the day comes when we can see each other again. I also learned my tenth-grade teachers have been some of my favorite yet. Some of my best memories this year were playing jazz with Mr. Luckey, discussing books while sitting on the couch in Mrs. Wisnosky’s class, being offered breakfast on my birthday by Mrs. Maier, connecting with art during Mrs. Sick’s class, funny conversations with Miss Shao, and enjoying songs in Senora Fiorillo’s Spanish 2. These teachers inspire me, and I am grateful for each of them. However, for me, it has taken a great deal of work to transition to an online school format. I have realized that Cyber School would never be for me.
But it has been nice to spend more time with my family at home, though. I have spent my days playing cards or board games, laughing with each other, working with my grandpa outdoors, polishing my mom’s yellow Kia, picking up sticks for campfires, and just enjoying helping with daily household activities. Usually with school and work, I did not get to see my family very much, but now I am at home. It is different, but I am glad to be learning more of what it takes to run a household and take care of my car. It is also good to keep in touch with other family, too, by calling them on the phone. Usually I would not have time in my busy schedule to talk regularly with my great-grandma – but now I do. And I know I will look back on these times and value how this simple way of living brought me closer to my family.
Overall, the past several months have taught me how to accept change and become a better person by learning new skills and valuing time with family. I have learned how to appreciate what I have and be more helpful with anything asked of me. Like many of us, this is not the way I wanted the school year to end. There have been many disappointments like not being able to go to Disney with band, but there is still a bright future ahead with new exciting memories. Often when I hear my grandma say, “have a good day,” my grandpa responds back with, “I plan to.” Despite what the future may hold, when I hear his simple response, it helps me realize everything will eventually turn out just fine.
(Brauer is a Tunkhannock Area High School sophomore who actively participates in marching band, jazz band, track and field, steering committee for the Class of 2022, volunteer at church and has a part-time job.)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you a teen and would like to share your views while we are all coping with the coronavirus pandemic? Submissions are welcome while the schools are out of session. Please send around 400 words to firstname.lastname@example.org with TEEN VIEWPOINT in the tagline.