We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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My story begins on March 13th, 2020. The fateful year where everything went wrong on the day of Friday the 13th. That day the sun was out and it was steaming hot.  I would know because I skipped school that day. It was the perfect day, but little did I know it would also be the last day of regular life. The next couple of days, everything started to close, including school. All the teachers were frantic in these last few months of school not knowing how to teach us online, but the students were happy school was out, including me. State testing didn’t happen, and surprisingly those last months went by quickly. 

However, the summer didn’t go by quite as quickly as everyone was in quarantine. During quarantine, everyone was doing whatever they could to keep themselves from being bored to death. I painted a lot and I also rearranged my room a couple of times. I cut my hair short and dyed it blonde. As quarantine went on people got more confident in themselves because they didn’t have that pressure from the “outside world”. They started becoming their own people you could say. However, quarantine was rather slow as no one wanted to go back to school since nobody knew how school was going to work.  

Once we were informed that school was going hybrid they gave us the choice of either going or staying online. If we went back to school we would be going two days, which isn’t much different than just staying online. I say this because unless you are in a hands-on elective like art or cooking, all you do at school is the same stuff you would be doing if you were at home. Most of the teachers didn’t even teach. They just told you to start your work online. If the teachers did teach, they would just be teaching us the same thing we were supposed to learn at home. At that point, as a student, you question if going to school two times a week is worth it. 

Personally, the only reason I’m going into school right now is because my mom said it would be good for my mental health.  If I am being honest though, school is not good for my mental health.  It feels so much more stressful than before. Teachers are so worried about fitting all the SOL material into the little time we have because of Covid that they forget that the students are the ones who are supposed to be able to understand and adapt everything. As this school year went on, I slowly started to miss traditional school more and more. I missed the way we could sit together at lunch and laugh about the dumbest things. I missed seeing my school friends every day. Especially the ones you only talk to at school, but whenever you do it’s worth it.  I miss the spark that the school had. With school, the way it is now everything feels so bleak. Everyone just seems like they don’t want to be there and I don’t blame them. It feels like I’m repeating the same week every time I am at school. It’s just the same thing over and over like a never-ending cycle that I just can’t escape from. Hopefully, as the school year comes to a close things will get better for everyone. 

© Madison Ray. 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.