During the COVID-19 pandemic, life drastically changed for everyone, but the shutdown in March had a particular impact on high school students. Seniors at St. Martin’s Episopal School reflected on their individual experiences with the lockdown and shared the different ways they spent their time in isolation.
Some students, like Senior Elena Gaver, spent time with their families, improved their individual health while at home, and went on socially distant vacations.
“I found ways to spend my time when I didn't have to do school work,” Gaver said. “I exercised more than ever to try and stay healthy. My family and I went on a roadtrip to Colorado with very limited contact with people.”
Gaver was also about to spend time with her older sister, who returned from college, and plan for her future.
“My sister came home and that was something that I thought would [only] be for a few months, but it has been 6 months now,” Gaver said. “I’m a senior, and I’m working hard on college applications and making sure I spend my time well.”
Other students opted for other ways to keep themselves occupied while inside, such as watching television to keep themselves entertained.
“I stayed inside a lot,” Senior Eric Berthelot said. “I watched a lot of movies and TV, but I tried to get outside of the house as much as I could with restrictions.” (Editor’s note: Berthelot is the layout editor for the Halo.)
Many students turned to their families and pets as a source of entertainment, like Senior Leven Greene, who used this period as a learning experience on how to balance family time.
“I played a lot of board games with my dad and my sister, since I was with them for the first month of quarantine,” Greene said. “We also went on a lot of bike rides. After that, it was mostly Netflix and trying to keep myself sane in a house full of siblings. I also played with my pet a lot, since there really wasn’t much to do.”
Senior Deryn Patin enjoyed her quarantine experience and tried to look at the positives, rather than the negatives, of the situation.
“I loved quarantine,” Patin said. “It allowed me to focus on myself and remain safe at home. I was able to enjoy the calming atmosphere staying at home provided for me. My only disadvantage would be hanging out with my friends, but that is more of a personal desire that I still try to avoid due to my own safety.”
Senior Erica Ricci was unprepared for how long the shutdown would last, thinking St. Martin’s would only be closed for two weeks in March.
“Contrary to popular opinion, I actually really enjoyed quarantine,” Ricci said. “In the beginning, I was a little overwhelmed with all of the free time I had, and honestly believed that I would be returning to school after those 2 weeks. It’s crazy to think how I thought that was actually going to happen.”
Nonetheless, Ricci said she enjoyed time at home and the ability to self reflect, citing that keeping her family safe was more important than socializing.
“I also have not seen anyone besides my immediate family since March 13th because of how high risk my brother is,” Ricci said. “So, I had a lot of time to self reflect. It is kind of nice to have so much time to myself. I had a very interesting and surprisingly enjoyable quarantine experience, which is technically still going on.”
This time was also challenging for students that were leaving or entering new communities, such as Senior Hunter Richardson, though he was able to learn and benefit from his time spent at home.
“I left my former school about ten days before quarantine started and enrolled in an online school,” said Richardson. “I had no idea that everyone else would be doing the same process in less than two weeks. However, since I was only enrolled to finish certain graduation requirements, I only took three classes through a self-paced program. As a result, I was able to successfully balance my job, which was also done remotely, and my school work, allowing me to truly learn the value of time management.”
This experience allowed some students, including Senior Monte Lewis, the time to reflect and better themselves for their next, and final, year of high school.
“I worked on myself a lot—from mentally preparing for what the year may bring to physically preparing all summer for the football season—but the time I had alone to myself with no distractions benefited me a lot in a very good way,” Lewis said. “Now I’m just looking forward to what the rest of the year brings.”