Ode to quarantine grievances

Mila Brandson and Kelly Wang

From the moment quarantine began, nearly every aspect of life was affected. The Fremd community has experienced a rollercoaster of learning scenarios, altering the way students and teachers interact and learn. Although separated, the collective experience of quarantine demonstrated the need for school unity and spirit through obstacles. In a recent short answer survey, Fremd students reflected on their quarantine experiences and responded to several questions inquiring about their overall likes, dislikes, and takeaways from quarantine. 

As a whole, many students enjoyed the time off from their typical activities. Quarantine also gave some people the opportunity to catch up on sleep and work at their own pace due to the transition to eLearning. Although remote learning presented new challenges, the comfort of staying home brought perks to the new learning environment like an early end to the school day or a chance to grab a snack between periods. Another common benefit of the stay at home order was that respondents found themselves spending more time with their families or pets in addition to more frequently engaging in hobbies. 

As for least favorite aspects of quarantine, the decreased interactions with friends and lack of contact with others were challenging adjustments. Nearly every response cited the difficulty of detachment from others. A sense of uncertainty and helplessness became familiar to many. As stated by sophomore Katie Koufis, “My least favorite part of quarantine was just being afraid…” Participants shared similar struggles maintaining communication with others and questioning the future.

Although the lockdown is over, students shared what advice they would have given themselves with the knowledge they have now. Whether it was wisdom to exercise more or savoring each minute of extra sleep, respondents often found that it was important to relax and stay optimistic. Additionally, a common theme throughout the responses involved letting go of conflicted feelings and going with the flow. “You can’t control it. Don’t stress,” junior Gina Dudley said. 

Both the positive and negative sides of the COVID-19 quarantine provided takeaways and opportunities to learn. Students found that one of the most significant messages was to live in the moment and not take life for granted. At the drop of a hat, the daily life of all Fremd students drastically transitioned, showing many students that what they have is precious. The importance of maintaining contact with friends and having patience through confusion were additionally helpful to students as they navigated the changes.

The March quarantine brought highs, lows, new opportunities, fresh memories, and chances for students to learn and grow as people. Through baking and binge watching, students found that “…there is hope in bad times,” as senior Nitin Badey said. Despite the many challenges, optimism has guided many members of the Fremd community through the experience of the coronavirus pandemic.