When the news broke out that the school year of 2020 was over, it was a huge shock to my friends and me. We never imagined that anything this crazy would ever happen to us in our lifetimes, let alone a deadly virus. It just happened so fast – on Wednesday, March 11, I was taking my track team photos, and then on March 13, we were receiving the news that school would be shut down until further notice.

Of course, we thought that during the time that school was shut down, it would be one big fun spring break, full of going to the beach and hanging out with each other every day, but sadly, those ideas were quickly shut down after the widespread lockdown was set in place. It was heartbreaking, hearing that we wouldn’t be going back to school, and that all spring sports were canceled. It’s also heartbreaking hearing President Trump on the news, trying to act like he has a clue of what’s going on. From a teenager’s perspective, all I truly know is that if he hadn’t fired the pandemic response team, we most likely would be in a much better spot right now.

Anyways, I will admit, it was a hard adjustment during the first couple weeks of quarantine. For example, I had to FaceTime friends instead of seeing them face to face (which does not seem too bad, when you think about it). But FaceTiming your friends when nothing is going on in your life and you having nothing interesting to say can get very boring. We also had to transition from in-person teachers and regular school to an online curriculum. School was hard enough before. Now that I actually have to be self-motivating and independent, it almost feels impossible. I also must work around the slow Internet and technical difficulties, like when my computer wouldn’t let me into my chemistry Zoom class.

All in all, my friends and I are just trying to stay entertained. I know some of my friends like to listen to music, go on walks, and especially binge-watch Netflix. Also, now is an amazing time to take advantage of opportunities. My best friend Toula has been babysitting kids all around her neighborhood while their parents are working from home. My other friends are taking advantage of the great weather in San Diego and laying out in the sun.

This is also a great time to get creative, because why not? There’s literally nothing else to do! So, I know that I’m not the only one that went to dig up old childhood art supplies. I’ve been getting in touch with my inner artist and painting with watercolors – and even painting rocks. During this time, I also got back into old hobbies that I never had time for before with my hectic schedule, like playing the piano and even songwriting.

Right now can also be a tough time for people who struggle with mental health. Being cooped up in a house for what seems like forever can be tough on anybody – especially knowing that people are dying and everyday heroes like nurses and first responders are fighting for people’s lives on the daily. Even though it feels like we can’t help the people who need it the most. We can, by staying home and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

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