by Madeleine Lee
When I first read the email that St. Mary’s would be closed when we returned from Spring Break, I honestly was not too sad. I felt that an extended Spring Break was just what I needed to continue to clear my head from 3rd quarter chaos. However, when I read that email, I did not really stop and think about what this “quarantine” would entail. The virus still didn’t feel like a reality for me, so I somewhat selfishly got back on the ski lift and continued my day, putting coronavirus out of my mind.
It was not until I entered the Denver Airport that I started to realize the new reality: people were wearing masks, and families were wiping down every inch of their airplane seats with clorox wipes. I was told that because I had been in Colorado, I must socially isolate for a significant amount of time before seeing my friends and grandparents. It all started to feel real. When Monday hit and my 6:30 A.M. alarm did not go off, I realized that my life had been turned upside down. I know that sounds dramatic, but what I mean is that my busy days and struggling to cram things in had become quite the opposite. My days were suddenly filled with nothing but time and solitude, something I often wished for when I felt that I was being pushed to the limit. A month ago, I would have longed for more sleep. I would have craved more family time. I would have wanted more time to just do what I wanted. However, in my new reality, I sleep too much. I get irritable being “stuck” with my family. I find myself too lazy to do those things I used to want to do.
As a result of being quarantined, I have now experienced two extremes. I have experienced the extreme of having a to-do list that never seems to stop piling up. Now, I am living on the opposite side of the spectrum where I must train myself to be productive. However, maybe this whole quarantine thing isn’t such a bad thing. After all, I’ve gotten what I wanted: I wanted more free time, and I wanted life to be less stressful, as most students did. Now, that is my reality for the most part. Yet still, I find myself unsatisfied. I long to go back to spending free periods in Mr. Soun’s room. I long to return to my cozy spot in Weir Study. I wish I could see my friends and teachers. These are things that I definitely took for granted because most of the time, all I wanted to do was escape. I now know that when I return to 60 Perkins Extended, I will never wish away my time. I will embrace the craziness, the stress, the to-do lists. I will be thankful for all of it because I have experienced life without any of it. Quarantine has taught me the important lesson that it takes a little (or a lot) of craziness for life to be fulfilling.
I am grateful for this time I have had with myself. The best thing that I can continue to do is think about those suffering and remember that this is a bigger problem than what I am missing out on.