I’ll admit it: I was almost excited for the impromptu break from school. The stress of tests, sports and other activities was lifted from my back and I prepared for a few weeks of (school–related) ease.
And, yet, here I am, only the third week in, missing the classrooms. It almost pains me to admit it, but I really do long for the crowded halls, the rush of passing period. Even the excruciatingly long bathroom lines would be a welcome alternative to the endless wait of not knowing what’s coming next.
While I never disliked WHS, I still looked forward to the weekends and any upcoming breaks I’d have from my busy schedule. Any chance I could get to take a break I would try to obtain, and the idea of being able to relax is what fueled me through some of the hardest points of my academic career.
So I’m almost at odds with myself: why am I suddenly longing to return to what I so vehemently wanted to get away from? Shouldn’t I be enjoying this “break” from physically being in school?
I’ve found that despite my constant desire to be free from high school, it is high school itself that has created the desire. The constant structure and repetition of going from class to class is what fueled my desire for relaxation.
Without a structured, physical high school to cause me to want the opposite, these times where I’d be cherishing my time off from said school instead create anxiety from the same things I longed for.
The lack of structure in my daily life now hinders me. My procrastination runs rampant as I continuously put off my online assignments until it’s practically too late to turn them in. I constantly almost forget to make it to my Zoom classes, and paying attention to a screen showing math problems is almost impossible when I’m surrounded by external distractions.
I no longer can exchange glances with my friends in class while my teacher is talking with a deep but brief exchange of some inside joke we have. I can no longer hear that a project is assigned and immediately know who I’m going to pair up with.
I never appreciated this when it happened in school, but, now that I lack it, I miss it more than ever.
And now that it is confirmed that we will not be returning to WHS for the rest of the school year, I no longer see this “break” as a blessing. Rather, it feels like a curse, forcing us to attempt to retain a sense of normalcy in an otherwise completely abnormal time.
I know when we’re back in school next year I will go back to wishing I was as far away from it as possible. But, I’ll remember these few months away where I lived in a constant state of uncertainty and anxiety, and I will try to appreciate what I now know I need from school.The structure of school, as boring as it may be, is what kept me going. As I now struggle to create a schedule that I can maintain the motivation to follow, I look forward to going back to WHS next year and regaining a true sense of normalcy.