EDITOR’S NOTE: Delaney Grider is a 14-year-old incoming freshman at Fishers High School in Fishers, Indiana. She enjoys politics, reading, speech team, music, show choir, and theater. In her free time, she volunteers at church and around her community. She plays three instruments, was the president of her honor society, and was a member of the 2020 We the People National Champion team.
March 13, 2020 seemed like just another normal day, but little did I know that it was my last day of middle school. Quarantine sort of took all of the kids by shock. There was no more hanging out at the mall with your friends, no more late-night bike rides, no more slushies at midnight, no more bouncing on the trampoline and laughing until your stomach hurt.
Quarantine was filled with dreary days of e-learning and missing friends and family. However, COVID-19 took something else away from us. It took away memories. Being a teenager is supposed to be the best years of your life, but instead of living life to the fullest, we were wearing masks all the time, afraid to leave our houses. Not only did the pandemic scare me, shock me, and take things away from me, but it burdened me. I am not good at learning through a piece of glass with wires beneath it. I need to be able to see and interact in a hands-on way when I learn. The pandemic made it harder for me to do daily schoolwork. Not only was I waking up early every morning, making sure that I was getting to my Zoom classes on time, but I was staying up late at night trying to finish all of the assignments that so easily built up. Not to mention that having to stay inside definitely made me sad. I was no longer able to complete things that were a part of growing up. What was even worse was seeing people around me sad as well. I could no longer go give my best friend a hug when they were crying, and I couldn’t go volunteer at church. I was unable to leave my house.
During quarantine, I tried to stay as active and productive as possible. I would go on walks with my mom every morning, I played board games and card games, I FaceTime my friends, cleaned my room from top to bottom, and read a lot. Quarantine wasn’t an ideal thing, but there were some good things about it. I was able to spend more time with my family, and I was able to spend more time with myself. During the school year I found myself rushing to play practice, speech practice, church small group, piano and guitar lessons, and other extracurriculars. I wasn’t getting a proper amount of sleep, and I had no time to actually focus on myself. But during quarantine, I was sleeping a healthy amount, journaling, and performing other activities.
Quarantine may have taken things away from me, but it was also an eye-opener to how grateful I should be, and a reminder that I need to start laying aside time for myself as well. Never take your health or your friends for granted – you never know if it’s going to be months until you can see them again.