A Bittersweet Goodbye

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Audrey Wallick, Staff Writer

The day is Thursday, March 14, 2020. You’re a sophomore in high school, and the school year is just hitting the peak of some of the hardest topics and projects in your classes; the stress is starting to get to you. Even with talk about the potential of the CoronaVirus reaching the U.S., the fact that you just drove yourself to school for the first time seems like a more important matter upon which to dwell. The next day, March 15th, 2020, everything changes, and your entire world is rearranged. 

Looking back at my time spent in quarantine, I remember how excited I was to have no school. I’m not saying I am happy that quarantine happened or that I would choose for it to happen again; however, I find myself missing that time. Everything that happened in quarantine is now so nostalgic. The media’s main daily broadcast on any television was information about the COVID-19 virus. The app Tiktok also added in large part to the notalgia I feel. All over the app, kids were dressing up as characters from the Netflix show The Outer Banks in anticipation for summer. Another large part of TikTok at that time was jokes about the start of World War III. I don’t think anyone actually thought there was a chance of a war, but it left room for some peak comedy. However, it doesn’t seem as funny now that Russia has invaded Ukraine. As soon as we were on lockdown, the weather started getting warm as well. I would go on a run or a walk whenever I wanted. For the first time in a long time, time was on my side.

In my personal experience, quarantine couldn’t have hit at a better time in my life. During my sophomore year, I didn’t have any CCP classes or AP tests to stress over. All of the school work I was previously stressing over went away because any time crunch was lifted, and assignments were made easier. At the time, I had to read the novel Snow Falling on Cedars for pre-AP Language Arts. With all of the free time I had at home, I found myself actually enjoying the book. While there was no need to get ready for anything, I took pride in taking as long as I wanted for my morning routine and breakfast before starting assignments. After assignments, the low gas prices allowed for an ample amount of aimless car rides. Thanks to these extravagant car rides, I could probably draw a map from memory of every backroad in Dover and surrounding areas. I’m not kidding when I say I drove… a lot.

I can understand how some people may have had a different experience with the quarantine due to the lack of social interaction, but for me, I enjoyed the break to spend time with family and distantly visit a few friends. Maybe, the reason for my genuine enjoyment of quarantine was the fact that my family and I remained healthy throughout the outbreak, but I also like to think it’s because I began to prioritize things that really mattered to me. My bedroom and bathroom were always clean; I discovered the importance of exercise and eating healthy food. I was always ahead in my school assignments. I was only around the friends and family that I wanted to be around. I could use the bathroom whenever I needed to instead of having to “hold it” during class. Did I mention that quarantine allowed me to get a full night of sleep? Now that, I am really starting to miss these days! 

It is still crazy to think that quarantine began my sophomore year of high school, and I am now a senior about to graduate. Finally, life is starting to feel the way it did before quarantine and for that, I am excited; however, I am choosing to remember quarantine in a good light and not take any of those lazy family days for granted.