Lu, Christina P
Isolation. It’s a term we’ve all heard repeatedly since quarantine began last spring, but it didn’t take on a meaning in my life until now. Weeks into online school, I’m feeling the effects of no longer bumping into my friends in the hallways and walking with them to class, or lounging in the commons and sharing snacks during lunch. All those brief exchanges used to be small pockets of happiness scattered throughout my school day. Now, I’m sitting in front of my computer screen between classes and eating lunch alone.
While online communication platforms bridge part of the gap, they simply can’t bring the happiness that physical interactions do. Texting isn’t the same as hugging a friend on a bad day. FaceTiming isn’t the same as waving at dozens of familiar faces in the halls. During in-person school, I would bond with classmates each day through group projects and clubs – something impossible to accomplish virtually.
Being stuck at home also means the days blur together. The line between school and home has faded, and I find myself feeling like school is seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Without a break from school and laughter to balance out the stress, there’s little to look forward to. Unlike my usual short-term struggles like tests and projects, online learning is a long-term circumstance with no end in sight.
I’ve come to accept the uncertainty of the future and the fact that I’ll probably continue to feel like this for a while. In the meantime, I’m trying to find pockets of happiness each day by being grateful for the little things, spending time in nature, and taking more time to connect with friends.
I know it seems like there’s no light at the end of this tunnel. But we’ve adapted to a lot of changes these past few months, and this current situation will change too. So hang on to the fact that someday, things will start to look up.