How are students passing the time while Quaran-Teened?

Barbara Lunsford, Copy Editor

Days and weeks are passing by in slow motion as the national quarantine only gets extended. Oftentimes, it is unclear exactly what time or day it even is. With so much newfound free time, what are high schoolers doing to better themselves and get through Covid-19? 

While athletes may be struggling to keep up with their passions as centers and parks remain shut down, there are several other at-home hobbies to pick up. Such activities include reading, writing, painting, cleaning, and exercising. The options are pretty endless. Even students who have little to no baking experience can easily learn some basic tips to start making delicious recipes in the kitchen.

All of this free time provides the opportunity to perfect new skills. However, many students are still going to work, especially those who have a job in the food business. Joliet West senior Angelica Cervantes, who is one of these fast-food workers, says, “The work environment has changed a lot. It’s actually very disappointing to see how many people are still going out, and acting like everything is normal.” Being around so many people at a time like this puts her and other workers in a tough position, as staying away from infected individuals is rather difficult with a fast-spreading virus like Covid-19. Nevertheless, Cervantes adds, “I’m grateful to still be working, even though I’m at high-risk because it’s difficult for me to stay in the house for a long period of time.”

Other students are anxiously awaiting the school’s return due to endless boredom and social isolation. Joliet West senior Josue Weston comments, “I’m pretty bored and e-learning isn’t as efficient as in-person learning.” This is a common feeling among fellow high schoolers who, though appreciating the posted work to stay updated, miss physically being in a classroom environment and interacting with teachers.

One disheartening thing happening during this national emergency would be people not taking the health and safety risks seriously. Lots of people are still hanging out with big groups of people, which is only delaying our return to normal life. 

On the other hand, there are positives to the stay-at-home situation. Social media platforms that have received criticism for taking away face-to-face communication are now bringing people across the world together like never before. Artists like 5 Seconds of Summer and Billie Eilish have done live performances across the internet. 5 Seconds of Summer, specifically, did an event on Instagram live and posted location-specific times so people anywhere and everywhere could join. This event took place on March 27. 

Another social media positive would be the hashtags and challenges going around. Many of them ask the person posting to tag a couple of friends to repost and participate. These can vary from sharing personal interests to uploading cool shots from certain sports. One example I saw was under the hashtag #seeastrikesendastrike. This was one related to sports, more specifically bowling. A lot of people I have on social media from different teams and states all shared their own videos in this hard time of not being able to practice.

All in all, even with personal experiences being postponed or canceled, there are always small things to look forward to. There are so many things yet to be learned, so many songs yet to be discovered and loved. When Covid-19 goes away, there are so many opportunities to come that will make life bright again. What we can do now is hope and use this time to relax and work on ourselves.