“Since the pandemic started, I have realized the importance of spending time with the ones you care about and making the most of the time you have with them.”
Since the pandemic started, I have realized the importance of spending time with the ones you care about and making the most of the time you have with them. Thankfully none of my family members have been affected by COVID, and because of this I have been able to spend time with them. When I leave I know I won’t know how long it will be until I see them again, and so I try to do as much as I can with them to make sure we enjoy the memories we make. In addition, I have taken school much more seriously because of college and also because it keeps me busy in a time that there is nothing to do. My priorities have been more focused on school and staying safe rather than spending time with friends and doing mindless things like watching TV. I have also become more thankful for what I have in my life, because if I didn’t live in a good neighborhood and if I didn’t have enough money to get the care I need if I got sick, I would be in a much worse situation. But because I am able to stay safe and get help, me and my family have been healthy.
In my life now, soccer has been rescheduled and set to come soon rather than playing in the fall. This has made me a little upset because I was really looking forward to playing with my team in the sunny weather, but now it will be cold and a really short season. To add, I quit club soccer because I wasn’t sure that me spending my time four days a week practicing would be worth it if we didn’t have a season. In the future, I think that college will be something to look forward to, but I don’t really know what it will look like. I think we will all have to continue wearing masks, but I don’t know for sure if and when we will be able to go back to a “normal” life. I have become more appreciative of being able to get the sleep I need to be able to succeed in school, and I have been more appreciative of seeing friends whenever I am able to. Knowing that my family is safe as well as the families I am close with, makes me thankful for being able to live the life that I do.
“Since the Pandemic has started, I have learned the importance of studying on my own and finding resources outside of the students and staff of Valley Catholic High School. “
Since the Pandemic has started, I have learned the importance of studying on my own and finding resources outside of the students and staff of Valley Catholic High School. While I am still getting a great education from my teachers online, let’s face it, communication through online platforms has its challenges. Therefore I found myself using other sources to supplement my understanding of the concepts covered in class. I have also learned how fast things can change. Last year in March, I was running through the school’s halls sleep-deprived, trying to get to class on time, understanding that school was of the utmost importance for me at the time. Fast forward to today, I am getting an average of 7-9 hours of sleep every night, which is fantastic. Also, finding out what life has to offer me after high school is exciting and overwhelming.
Deciding what I am to do in Summer and Fall after graduation has become significantly more important as time has gone on. Finding a major and learning all I can about college is not an easy task but at the same time rewarding. I am also starting to learn more about how the world works and attaining the right tools to become successful. Online school has taken a toll on my social life and kept me isolated from others. Still, it has also given me the excellent opportunity to work on myself—a time of self-reflection and development and planning what I want to accomplish. With that, I look forward to seeing where life takes me.
I believe that we will not be able to interact with others the way we used to going into the future. Although I hope the situation improves significantly. People will be more aware of germs and the impact that they can have on all of us. Since last spring, I have not been sick with any colds or airborne illnesses, which I contracted fairly easily during the “old” normal school year.During this time I have gained a renewed appreciation for the time spent with my family and pets and the few times I can meet with friends.
What have you learned?
The most significant thing I’ve learned as a result of this pandemic is how much I’ve taken for granted. There are several things – experiences with friends or teachers, or even the rigor of in-person school – that I developed a deep longing for during the early days of the pandemic, which may only be quelled now that Phase 2 schooling is about to begin. Even with the interconnected nature of our lives with the presence of social media, it was surprising to me how disconnected I felt from my close friends, even if I talked or texted with them almost daily. I have recognized and better understood the role of my friends and close mentors in my life.
How have priorities and values changed since March 2020?
There are much fewer things I feel motivated to pay attention to as a result of staying at home much more often. I think that, as a result of the pandemic, people have become much more self-oriented when making decisions. We now prioritize safety significantly more and (hopefully) have become more conscious about the transmission of bacteria and our own potentially dangerous mannerisms. We have been consistently trying to find safe alternatives to interact in person with our close friends, because the lockdowns have caused mental health issues for many yet we still want to mitigate potential transmission of the virus. Over the summer and into last year’s election cycle, however, many people’s values turned toward institutional change and the establishment of equality and truth, which showed that while it is very important to look after oneself, it is crucial for the advancement of our society that everyone have equal opportunity, free from hate and discrimination. I was even motivated to work in a nonprofit founded specifically for this pandemic, hoping to bring change to my community
How are things different in your life now?
I spend a lot more time in front of a screen and my eating and sleeping habits have certainly changed. Not necessarily for the better or the worse, but in general they greatly differ from my daily routine during junior year. Additionally, I have much more free time after school, when I would usually be in the weight room or at practice. Instead, I am once again at my desktop. On occasion, however, I go for runs with a friend or two. It is not as consistent or strenuous as regular practices, but the fresh air, exercise, and presence of a friend make it more than worth my while.
How will things be different in the future?
We will (hopefully) be much more prepared for an international crisis similar to this one, should it ever occur. Case studies, academic analysis, and public speculation will draw connections between the effects of COVID-19 and our post-pandemic life. Perhaps this might further highlight inequities among marginalized groups and spur much greater change than what we saw over the summer. Another possibility is that people’s handling of falling ill might change given all the precautions we have practiced in our new daily routines. A strong prediction of mine, though, is that masks are not going away, and that around winter and the flu season they will make a strong resurfacing.
What activities, routines and people do we have a renewed appreciation for in our lives?
Running and my coaches who continue to maintain their running schedules. Coaches Berge and Grondin have consistently kept their weekly mileages high, motivating me to maintain some semblance of consistency in my weekly routine. While running is physically demanding, it also provides a spiritual respite, which is extremely beneficial in a time when spiritual and mental health is at an all time low. I also have a renewed appreciation for my teachers. Using zoom in a couple of volunteer activities, I began to understand how difficult it is to manage a group of people and keep them captivated. Our teachers have to do that on a daily basis and adapt their lesson plans to online schooling. I remember many activities we did during in-person school, and I greatly appreciate our teachers trying to replicate those experiences even if there’s a barrier.
“I think that, as a result of the pandemic, people have become much more self-oriented when making decisions. We now prioritize safety significantly more and (hopefully) have become more conscious about the transmission of bacteria and our own potentially dangerous mannerisms.”
Since the pandemic started, I’ve learned that I’ve taken for granted many aspects of life and the world’s beauty. The pandemic has shown me that patience is a virtue and that the world can always improve. I’ve learned how to live my life wearing a mask when I go outside and understand what people are saying with a mask. I have learned that life is all but perfect now, and there is a need for love and compassion. Creating a sense of community is one of the most important things that the world needs, and I’m happy to say that Valley Catholic has one of the strongest communities I know.
My family has always been an important part of my life, but the pandemic has made me realize that my family IS the most important part of my life. My family is one of the most compassionate, generous, and funniest people I know. Having to spend every minute of every day in the pandemic has created an unbreakable bond with my entire family. I’m so happy that we’re all there for each other, especially during the hardships of life. I put my family over everything, and I will always keep that in my mind and my heart. I value the friendships in my life and making sure that I’m supporting and loving my friends as much as I can. The pandemic has shattered the ability to see whoever you want whenever you want, and not being able to hug someone is quite challenging. I must check in on all of my loved ones to make sure that they’re okay and to see if there is anything I can do to make their lives a little bit easier.
My life has changed significantly since the pandemic started. My family sold our house and bought a new home a few weeks before everyone’s lives went on lockdown, and we had no choice but to move during the pandemic. Moving is difficult, but moving during a pandemic is a very stressful and challenging time. My school life is gone, and now school takes place in my desk area in my room on my laptop. Seeing my friends on a little square on Zoom is nothing compared to seeing them in person and having a genuine conversation. Going on vacations is one of my favorite things to do with my family, but all of our plans had to be canceled and pushed back until life starts to calm down and hopefully get back to a new normal.
Since the pandemic started I have learned to not take things for granted. Pre-pandemic I would often complain about going to school in person, which now is something I miss alot. I did not realize how much I actually enjoyed spending time with my teachers and classmates and how much I looked forward to doing activities around campus. Getting to go to school is a privilege and I took that for granted. March 2020 made me realize that you do not know how much of an impact something has on your life until it is gone.
My Priorities have changed in the sense that I now value the time I get to spend with my friends and my family so much more. Since I will be heading off to college next year I am so grateful for the extra time I have gotten to spend with my mom and my dad. Spending quality time with friends and family is so important and so much more valuable than time spent staring at a screen. Things are much different now than they were in March 2020. I have strengthened my relationships not only with my family but also my friends, I have a job, and I will be heading off to college in the fall. Even though this past year has been a tough one to get through, I have still been able to find positive things to look forward to and I have learned not to take things for granted anymore!
“I have learned so many valuable lessons about adversity throughout these past eleven months. At many points of one’s life adversity will punch you in the mouth and knock you on your butt but it is about how one responds to this adversity that will shape one’s character.”
In the middle of March in 2020 the Valley Catholic High School student body was gathered in the Valiants Gym awaiting word that we’d be starting spring break early this year. Students and faculty rejoiced as everyone needed a two week break from learning in hopes that everyone would be able to take a step back, relax, and come back rejuvenated and energized with COVID-19 eradicated from the Greater Portland Area. Roughly eleven months later the Valley Catholic community is still facing its toughest test. It is not a test given by Mr. Fisher for AP Physics or an essay for Mrs. Brown, rather it is the exam of all exams; to stay tightly knit as we are apart. I have learned so many valuable lessons about adversity throughout these past eleven months. At many points of one’s life adversity will punch you in the mouth and knock you on your butt but it is about how one responds to this adversity that will shape one’s character. With no sports, the demand for certain physical attributes declined. I spent hours on end parallel to the ground on the couch binging shows, playing video games, or asleep. Days would go by with the snap of a finger and suddenly weeks or even months have passed. This was not how I wanted my junior year to conclude and my senior year to begin. I started going on walks around the block with my dog instead of walks to the pantry. I started to get back into the weightroom and make due with the equipment I had at my disposal and I grew more creative with my diet. I began to find a passion in fitness more so than I ever had before as a varsity athlete. I took care of my body in hopes that we’d get one last dance on the field, court, and diamond. I began to prioritize myself and put my feelings into the forefront. Mental health is the most important aspect of a highschooler’s life and learning to check in on your friends is extremely important and this has underscored my life under the reign of COVID-19. Now, we have followed the rules, we have done as we are told, and we have abided by guidelines set into place and I have never been more ready to rejoin my family at Valley Catholic and continue to not take things for granted, finishing my final year at VC with a bang but remain a Valiant forever.
Since the pandemic started I have learned a lot about patience and how it is so necessary in life. I can’t even begin to think of how many times I’ve wanted to leave my house and just do something productive. I’ve felt so bored over this whole experience but through this boredom I found how to be calm and carefree whenever I feel trapped or bored. My values have changed naturally as college is beginning to near; I’ve shifted my focus towards success in the future and what I’ll exactly be studying next year.
Things are different in my life now as I don’t go to in-person school, really nothing has changed it’s more of myself that’s changed. The things I do in life haven’t changed a bit but the way I do them has changed. Things will be different in the future as everything I do will be taken with more seriousness.
With a career rapidly approaching, I’ve been preparing for when I will focus on a job and with my livelihood on the line I don’t plan on barely scraping by in school. I’ve been prepared for hard work. It’s all up to me from now and for the future to see. Activities that I have a renewed interest in are video games, surprisingly enough I wasn’t into video games as much before covid. However I definitely have a bigger appreciation for them now as they’re all I play.
I have a bigger appreciation for my entire family, every one of them I’ve grown closer with during our time stuck together. I didn’t realize how much their support has helped me so much over the years and being stuck at home has helped me realize it.
Since the pandemic started I have learned the importance of family and community. These times are when we need a good support system, and I have come to find that I am very blessed with mine. Being isolated with my family has been challenging, but rewarding.
I have started to view my priorities and values in a bigger picture. Small inconveniences in my life that I used to believe had a much greater significance, do not seem to bother me as much. The importance of the people around me has been heightened.
It seems like everything is different now. It used to feel like I had multiple homes. Not just my own, but friends’ houses and vacation spots as well. Since the pandemic, I have spent so much time in my home I feel like I have lost those close connections.
I have no idea what the future will be like, I am not convinced I could explain the present at this point. The only thing I know is that I am on track to do everything I hoped to do after highschool and that I will get to tell my kids I lived through a global pandemic.
I have found a renewed appreciation for school and sports. Two things that I took for granted, and even liked to complain about, are now the two things I miss most. I miss getting to compete and spend time with my friends. When you are at school you are never alone and I think I did not appreciate that as much as I should have.
The pandemic has brought upon me and others change from how we spend our time outside of school and work to how we interact with others. The big change everyone experienced in one way or another was the heavy shift towards digitalized learning. I never realized the importance of coming to school in-person and the mindset that sets in when I learn in a classroom compared to my room. In school, the distractions from the subject matter are very limited which allows me to give my full attention to the lesson and learn as efficiently as possible. Online learning presents a varying range of distractions that come from being in my own home and on the internet on my own computer. It has been rough trying to stay focused for the longer class periods and then, combined with senioritis which is very real, my motivations to do work has been greatly hindered and has required a lot of self-control and some reminding from parents in order to counteract it.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I, like many others, was stuck at home, without being able to go out and see friends. I was fine with this fact for about two weeks when I began to resent the fact that I was spending my senior year cooped up in my house and not out with my friends making memories before we go off to college. It made me realize how much I took for granted the ability to spend time with friends and family and, in a way, it helped me to realize the importance of the little time I have left with these people before I go off to college. I value the memories more now than ever and hope to spend as much time as possible making new ones with the people I have grown so close to over the past four years.
Something I just wanted to touch on as well is the cancellation of my senior year sports seasons. I have been playing soccer and doing track and field since freshman year and has been an important part of my high school career. Not being able to participate in sports is probably the most detrimental change for me that has come due to the pandemic. I know it is not even on par with what others have lost due to this pandemic, but I never could imagine a time without sports and it was hard to cope with for a while. I am grateful that I am going to be getting at least a partial season for both soccer and track later this year and I know I will cherish those times far greater than ever before knowing it is the last time I will be participating in such activities with my teammates.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, I, like many others, was stuck at home, without being able to go out and see friends. I was fine with this fact for about two weeks when I began to resent the fact that I was spending my senior year cooped up in my house and not out with my friends making memories before we go off to college.”
Since the pandemic started, my lifestyle has changed completely. I have learned what it means to be stuck with my own thoughts and nothing but them. I have learned what it means to love myself, because at the end of the day, that is all we have. I have learned that I heavily depended on the outside world for my happiness, and I had to learn how to find happiness from within. I moved houses for the first time during March of 2020, which was an added struggle to what was already occurring. I also had to experience one of the most demanding family situations that I’ve ever endured. The most cliche lesson that I have restated in my mind all throughout this pandemic is to not take anything for granted.
Before the pandemic, I don’t think that I fully understood the concept of valuing moments and prioritizing people. I would say that because Covid-19 has taken away my ability to see my friends, go to school, travel, go to the store, etc., I have a much deeper appreciation for anything and everything in my life. The mask mandate is diminishing for me because I am someone who believes a smile can light up a room. Squinting eyes just doesn’t have the same effect. I used to value time that I got away from my friends and family when I was bothered by them, but I have no desire to leave my friends and family now. I would do anything to go back and relive my senior year of high school without a pandemic and without restrictions.
Since beginning online classes, I frequently cherish any memories that I have of life before quarantine and before I lost my senior year. Life is completely different now because of the immediate switch from in-person to online school. I constantly review the last day of school in my head on Friday the 13th of March in 2020. All that runs through my head now is what life was like before everything went south. I hope that the future will become normal again, but I have a feeling that there will still be traces of coronavirus that cause people to still be cautious. I fear that masks will still be apparent, even if it is proven to not help maintain our well-being anymore. I believe that everyone will have a renewed appreciation for concerts, any type of group gatherings, holidays, traveling, school, and even going outside in general.
“Since the pandemic started, my lifestyle has changed completely. I have learned what it means to be stuck with my own thoughts and nothing but them. I have learned what it means to love myself, because at the end of the day, that is all we have.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have learned the true meaning and value in human interaction. Being socially deprived for such an extended period of time has caused me to crave being at school, merely to see my closest friends again. However, due to spending an excessive time at home, with less otherworldly distractions, I have been able to focus on myself and my self-growth more than ever. I have improved almost every aspect of my life by being dedicated and focused on my crafts and passions. I have been able to grow closer to my family and friends. I have learned how to be more efficient with my work and how to better manage my time.
Being in the midst of a pandemic has allowed me to develop a new appreciation for spending time with my friends. I have been able to realize the importance of spending quality time with those you love. I have noticed all of the things I used to take for granted such as going to the movies, attending parties, going to restaurants, and merely living without restriction and worry.
I still do not believe that everything will go exactly back to normal, however, I think once we start getting everything under control, people’s quality of life will drastically improve due to the widespread realization of the importance of mental health in relation to in-person human interaction. As we continue to progress through this pandemic, we will find more and more ways to bring joy to the world, allowing people to be happier and more in touch with themselves and the world around them.
Since the pandemic started, I have learned many things. But most importantly, I learned how important human interacaction and the general ability to be with people are. Before the pandemic hit, I remember the days where I wouldn’t hang out with my friends because I was “too tired” or “too lazy”. I remember the days when I would tell myself that I wished I never had to go back to school again. These are all things I now greatly regret even thinking of. On the other hand, my priorities and values have adapted to the situation. Since I am unable to go out and live normally, I have prioritized other things in my life. I am now focusing more on school and working out more than I ever have.
The main difference in my life now is that I am unable to have the same social life that I’ve had before. No parties, no restaurants, and sadly, no gyms. I believe that daily life in the future will be the peak of our society. Nobody will take their friends for granted. Everyone will live their lives as if a pandemic would come around the corner and shut their life down again. In the future, everyone will simply appreciate the life they have, since we all know what happens when you take the “normal” out of our lives. Everyone including me, will take this pandemic as a major lesson, to be around the people you love and do the things you love as much as possible, because you never know when a virus could take it all away.