Students Begin Detailed Reflections after “Pandemic” is Declared Word of the Year

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Mckenzie Mollica

Students begin to take time to reflect on the meaning and impact of the current global pandemic.

McKenzie Mollica, Writer

A global pandemic has various impacts on both teachers and students.  Normally, people would expect teachers to understand pandemics more than students because they are older.  However, this was not the case at all.  The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic was the first pandemic almost everyone has ever experienced.  After having teachers reflect on this first time experience, it’s important to check in with students too.  What was the pandemic like through a student’s eyes? 

 

For most kids, when the first announcement of quarantine came out, they were excited. “I was like “Yay extra long spring break,”” stated sophomore at Oakdale High School, Maddie Wilkes.  

 

Wilkes was not the only one to feel this way.  She and several other students were relieved to not have to be doing work for two weeks, and to just get some time to relax.  Students figured 2 weeks of break, and then life goes back to normal.  However, life for students would change more than people thought, and most certainly would not go back to normal.  

 

Drew Phipps, a freshman at OHS, described his life before quarantine, as normal: “Just playing sports and going to restaurants and going to school was the normal.”

 

The pandemic has caused some good changes.  For Phipps, the quarantine has caused him, and many others, to be home more, but it has allowed his attention to move towards better things.  Phipps described his quarantine life as, “A lot of video games,playing basketball in my driveway, and just focusing on school as much as I can.”

 

Even though we have been staying home, many people have still been making amazing memories.  Sometimes, our favorite memories are the simple ones.  Exia Stephens has been enjoying the little things, and creating memories at the same time: “Driving to and from work in the summer just listening to music. A lot of good music came out this year,” she says about her favorite quarantine activity.

 

In order to make good memories, we sometimes have to face hardships. Seeing family, traveling, and going out in general, have all been put on hold due to the pandemic.  Since many of these activities have been put on hold, it has caused difficulties for many people.  

 

With the way people were handling the Pandemic, Stephens had been facing emotional hardships. Stephens described her emotions as, “Feeling angry and frustrated at people who don’t take things seriously as well as the failure of our public health system to get this under control. It did not have to be this bad, over 250k people did not have to die. It’s infuriating to see public officials deflect responsibility for this tragedy.”

 

The hardships, memories, and pandemic as a whole, have ultimately led to personal and global realizations. Students have realized, and are starting to understand that it’s not just them.  People all over the globe are facing troubles, and we’re all in this together.  

 

Stephens and Phipps both made personal realizations that really open others’ eyes.  Sometimes, all it takes is something tremendous to happen, for us to realize life changing things.  

 

“It’s made me realize how much I actually have and how I need to appreciate more that I’m able to do,” Phipps mentioned.  

 

“I realized who my real friends are and that I can’t blame circumstances for my mood,” Stephens stated.  

 

These are both things that the pandemic has definitely shed some light on.  These kinds of things are beneficial, and healthy for people to realize.  

 

On a global level, Wilkes had discussed face to face interaction.  She noticed how much it truly impacts us, and we don’t even realize.

 

“A lot of people have died and I think people realized how much we take face to face communication for granted. it goes to show how much the world changed without it,” Wilkes replied.  

 

All in all, the pandemic has caused positive and negative happenings.  With the end of the year approaching, it is crucial that we look back on the pandemic, and evaluate.  For most people, a good way to maintain positive mental health is by reflecting and writing goals for 2021.