New Year, New Me, New Perspectives on School in the Time of Covid-19?



Will the sun’s bright rays be blocked by the tree’s bright leaves? Or will it be able to go past the green mask of life?

Ruby Carrero-Pomales, Reporter

Growing up I dreamed of my high school experience, from the friends I would have to the clothes I would wear I had thought of every detail. Then, a storm called COVID-19 hit, washing away all my pre-conceived notions. I now sit in a new school, with no one I know, starting my high school experience with only one friend and all on my own, feeling more isolated than ever with the barriers to people’s souls now standing in my way of every interaction I have. So, with that info in mind, I decided to dedicate this year to recreating me.

I spent my quarantine recreating myself, figuring out who I am and what my ideals are. Who would I be this school year? I would have almost no one I know, no one would recognize me and I could be the person I am. With my quarantine spent dedicated to the idea of creating a, “new me,” I was prepared for school. Prepared to be this person I had invented and make all these new friends. But, reality struck me the moment I stepped on campus. A barren school, no friends to help me out, realizing I was now more confused about who I was than ever before. My first quarter was spent in loneliness, I was lucky to have my best friend who had transferred with me, but we only had one shared class so I used the rest of my time to trying to focus on being positive. But, as I tried to keep that mindset up, I couldn’t help but think about the end of my last three years, how this didn’t feel close to anything like high school. How it was nothing I imagined it would be.

Last year, no one knew that when we would leave for Spring Break we would never return. However, I had gone in during school on an extra teacher work day to rehearse for the school musical. I spent the time rehearsing with friends and chatting with teachers. Expecting to be back to finish out my year, I smiled walking out of the school, thinking about how excited I was for our production. I smiled when Spring Break was extended, excited for an extra break. I smiled, thinking no matter what happened my time in high school would be great. In the end, even with the restart I had been granted, any progress I made was tarnished, all because of the masks people wore. The masks wore.

I spent so much time blaming COVID-19 for my failure, I didn’t realize I was the issue. It took me so long to realize that I hadn’t changed at all. I had broken promises to myself, promises I had made in the past not to try to modify myself to fit in with anyone else. So, after a long few months of thinking I went back to being myself.

It wasn’t until the second semester I had made any friends. I was able to find people to talk to, close acquaintances more or less, but no one I could consider my friends. It wasn’t until classes were switched around I was able to find people to chat and laugh with. I became closer with some of the people I knew and was able to meet some of the students I now consider close friends. I had slowly started to feel more at home at OCSA, even making the choice to switch majors during my first year. I often wonder how different my year would’ve been if there was no virus looming, but I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if 2020 had gone any other way.