Dear Diary,

When all this started, I naively thought that those two weeks would be enough for everything to go back to normal. What I quickly realized is that nothing may ever be the same again. I constantly thought “we are living through history, this is textbook stuff right here,” and kept up with the news for the first few weeks. Eventually, it all sounded the same: the government is doing this, Donald Trump says one thing, the CDC is saying another, and so on and so forth. Soon two weeks turned into a month and now, a month is turning into two, possibly three. The rest of my senior year was cancelled and soon, reality hit. There would be no more morning coffee with my friends in the library or late night study sessions over FaceTime. In fact, school was one of the only times that I could see my friends considering our busy lives. Between work, internships, sports, clubs, and homework, there was not much time left outside of school. I no longer feel the anticipation and excitement for prom and graduation; all that is left is wondering if things will go back to “normal.”

After three weeks of staying on a strict lockdown in my house, my life felt so lackluster. I had not seen anyone except my family, and as much as I love them, sometimes all a girl needs is some quality time with her friends. Sure, we chatted over video calls and text, but that in-person connection that I needed was not there. I missed my peers, my teachers, my mentors, everyone. I felt so ready to go back to school, not for the work, but for the people. I learned the value of human connection and why humans are considered social creatures in our time apart. I am fortunate to have an excellent support system of teachers, counselors, and admin who work hard to keep us on track and informed on changes. While this is a rough time for everyone, I am comforted to know that I have people who are committed to helping me and my peers through the rest of our unusual senior year.

Despite all the negatives that resulted from this unprecedented situation, a lot of good resulted from it as well. For one thing, I get to spend more time with my family. We take the time to cook together, watch movies, and take long walks around the neighborhood. With the ease of my workload, I have learned to live life at a slower-pace. Now, that does not mean I have been lazing around either (although that happens quite often as well). Instead, it gives me time to reflect on how I want to live my life versus how I lived before. I used to go through the motions, follow a routine. Eventually, it got tiring, and I lost motivation to pursue new interests or continue hobbies that once made me so happy. However, now I enjoy the slower pace life has because I live with intention. There is no point in doing things that don’t make you happy; making time for the people you love and the activities you enjoy doing is important to maintaining your sense-of-self. We have been given the time that we always wished we had.

As much as I am enjoying my time at home, I look forward to the day where I can safely go eat at a restaurant with others, hug my friends, and go back to school. It feels weird to think that the next time I will be in a class is in college! My biggest wish during this pandemic is that everyone comes out of the situation having learned something about themselves and the world.

During this time, we have seen everyday people become heroes.

Simultaneously, we have also seen blatant racism and xenophobia. It is up to each individual to determine what side of history they want to be on.

Until next time, Diary (hopefully this will all be over by then).