Why I’m glad schools are closed

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I was sitting in my TA period when it was first announced that schools would be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Needless to say, there was a range of mixed feelings with my classmates; some excited, some upset, some afraid how it would affect the school year. Although I was a little anxious about the virus itself, most of that fear was for the effect on the economy. Schools closing, however, was a huge sigh of relief for me.

I’ve learned a lot from Poly. The yearbook and newspaper teams are more responsible than my last school. The English teachers actually teach you how to compose essays without killing any existing passion you had coming into the class. The music students are held accountable, and the staff and administration encourage students to push themselves and be eligible to attend four-year universities.

But I’m not upset about the cancelled events. I’m upset that I can’t edit or distribute a physical newspaper, but there were no events I was planning to attend aside from choir concerts and my graduation ceremony.

I can’t say I hate Poly. But as a transfer student from another district, I can’t lie that I miss my previous high school. Four years ago, I had a completely different plan for my senior year. I never expected to be in a school with open enrollment or block schedules. At my last school, I was the de facto section leader in marching band. At Poly, I never even marched. I would never have thought I’d be writing (and especially drawing comics) on a newspaper team, either, yet here I am as a staff writer for The High Life. There were so many promises made to me in San Bernardino that I expected to be there for. So in a way, my senior year was disrupted a long time ago.

Just as any stereotypical high school senior, I had a terrible case of senioritis coming into my final year. My two older siblings, who had similar feelings as me coming out of high school, became different people upon attending college. They used to leave me out of everything, tease me like most siblings, and always want to be alone. Since attending college, they are constantly calling me to chat or play video games, and they are almost always around friends whenever I call them. Heck, my brother has even asked me for help with writing and editing a screenplay.

Seeing my siblings’ demeanors change after leaving high school has only made me more anxious to graduate. I’m sick of being told what I have to learn and when, and I want to have more freedom in my education. I find myself more productive in career building when I have a break from school, and whenever I have to go back, I feel drained, cranky, and sometimes a little depressed. After school, I don’t want to work on homework or personal projects, I don’t want to play my instruments, and I don’t even want to hang out with friends. While I love my teachers this year and enjoy my electives, the idea and pressure of having to survive another three months on little sleep and low motivation was killing my energy and creativity.

Now that I am at home, I am able to work where I want to work. I can get up and walk around when I need to, and I have no more homework because now it is combined with my schoolwork. I no longer have to break my back lugging a full bag of books on my back, and I can keep my hands busy during lessons with whatever I feel like at the time. I’m wearing headphones less, playing my instruments more, and I feel more creative and less pressured by deadlines because I choose where I work. I’m at the point where I’m considering homeschooling my own children in the future.

I don’t know if I regret coming to Poly. I probably wouldn’t be on the path I am now if I had chosen Wilson like I considered. But after four years of disappointment after freshman year trials, band drama, one of the hardest moves of my life, and newly developed social anxiety, I’m not sure I could have a better end to my senior year than this. I want this virus to end just as much as the next person, but I couldn’t be more grateful for the break from high school.