We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofKallie LaPointe

March 13--The day time changed. At 2:00 pm I’m being sent to my home base. As I hear the announcements shock, confusion, excitement, and many emotions rush through my head. All of this becomes so real in an instant. 

Thinking. Imagining what will come of these few short weeks of school at home.

Happy for the break. Then happiness and excitement are replaced by the dread of getting up in the morning to the empty house and nothing to do after not three weeks, but four months, have gone by. You haven't seen your friends since that last day you said goodbye. 

It doesn’t stop there.  The news keeps coming with 10,000 then 20,000 then 1 million cases and growing every day. Overwhelmed by the shortages and the freakout but nothing to keep your mind off of it.

Many more months go by and you miss soccer, friends, and parties. Everything you once thought was normal became unacceptable. 

Throughout this time, we all have lots of time to reflect and learn to grow. Finding new things about yourself every day. I learn many things about myself. How much I love in-person school. How picky I have become. How much I enjoy the company of friends over family. I discover my love of baking. 

Most importantly, I begin to love myself. I start realizing I am beautiful and powerful. 

As time goes on, your school starts back up; then your eighth-grade year unfolds in a virtual environment. Sleeping right up until the time of your class. Rolling over to grab your computer and going back to sleep. Your teacher's voice echoes through the hallway as you walk downstairs to make breakfast. The constant change means you might go back to school. Virtual. Hybrid. What's next? You begin to get used to the virtual just as you're called back to in-person school. You don’t understand. Your wish to go back to school seems to melt away as you remember the insecurities you made up while alone. You're scared now and don’t know what to do.

© Kallie LaPointe. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.