Stay at home order gives a lot of time to think

Katelyn Kyrkos, Staff Writer

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, I had an ordinary life. And because the reality of this lockdown hadn’t set in yet, my first thought was, “yes! No school!” Now that I’m actually living through it and experiencing the positives and the negatives, I’ve learned about how much I took for granted. I was able to go to school and expand my knowledge in the classroom setting. I was able to eat lunch with my friends five days out of the week and participate in fun, after school activities. I was able to see my family on weekends and go out to eat with them. And that was ripped out from under my feet. 

Social interaction. One of the things I took for granted most. I didn’t notice how much the everyday communication I was receiving at school had such a colossal impact on my life. Even though sometimes I didn’t act like it. In the morning, I’d grumble about having to wake up so early or what the weather was like outside. In between periods, I would moan about having to walk up and down the stairs to get to class. At lunch, I’d complain about a test I had to take during 5th period or project that was due the next day in Biology. And after that bell rang, I couldn’t wait to get home. But now that I’m unable to do any of that, I couldn’t miss it more. I miss getting up early and getting ready… walking to school with my best friends… seeing them in the hallway and making silly faces at each other… going to lunch and being around the people that I cared about the most… and ending my day with a refreshing walk home. Thankfully, I have three years left at Auburn High School, unlike some students this year. My heart goes out to all of those that don’t. They will never have the chance to walk into those classrooms again. To go to a sporting event and support AHS teams. To be a part of another school assembly. Or perform in the PCA. And because of the COVID-19 outbreak, I will never take a single day of school for granted. Something that you expect to be the same, can change in a second. 

Another thing I took for granted was the escape that school had become for me. When things got hard at home, I did my best to find a way to distract myself or keep myself busy. The easiest way to do that was by going to school. I got to see my friends, enjoy my classes and even support my school by participating in clubs. Before the stay-at-home order was announced, I was babysitting and helping my friend take care of her new puppy. The only things I went home for was to eat, do homework, shower, and sleep. And now that school’s out and we’re on lockdown, I’ve been stuck with my family. I have had the chance to learn a lot about them and to make a stronger connection with them unlike before. But things around my home continue to be stressful and difficult for me at times and I miss being able to just get away from it all. Even if it’s just for a day. As a result, I’m going to be twice as busy and twice as grateful when the next year begins, and the many more after that. 

To summarize, the stay-at-home order has given me a lot of time to think and realize what I took for granted when school was open. I took the aspect of social interactions for granted. The fact that I was able to see my friends and physically touch them was taken away as easily as it was given to me. I took the escape that school had given me for granted. Being able to go to school and enjoy myself. Or engage in after school clubs and activities. The time flew by and, at the time, I didn’t understand how fortunate I was. To conclude, I now appreciate everything I have. Every opportunity I’m given, every hug I receive, every friend I have. And I plan on making that much more known to the people around me. I want them to know that I’ll never take anything for granted again.