Coming of age in a virtual world

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Allie Redden

    Senior year is the time I am meant to figure my life out. I am meant to discover my true passions, go on crazy adventures with my friends, and solidify my future plans. This year, the class of 2021 and I are tasked with deciding the course of our lives in a world that feels more uncertain than ever.
    Due to the pandemic, my universe has already been permeated with fear--fear for my grandparents, for my parents, and my siblings. When online classes started this week, the stress started piling on, too. I logged into my three college courses and discovered an insane amount of assignments. My regular school classes have also assigned a normal course-load. In a time where I feel like my productivity has declined drastically, this is challenging. I have struggled to grow accustomed to the intense pressure to complete assignments on time and the eye strain that comes along with staring at the screen for 7+ hours each day.
    I live in what many would describe as a busy household. I live with both of my parents and four siblings. Both of my parents are working from home. My mother is a teacher and all my siblings are school-aged, so the number of Microsoft Teams meeting calls occurring per day is almost unreasonable. The constant noise in the house makes focusing a little problematic.
    Still, I am thankful to have siblings to socialize with in this time of isolation. I have done my best to social distance and avoid large groups of people, so I have only seen a handful of friends. The most socially stimulating activity I have each day is soccer practice, which is only an hour and a half long.
    Though I am struggling with maintaining my online courses and my social life, I am glad the school system and the state have prioritized the health of students. I am thankful this time is challenging me to grow and evolve under unprecedented circumstance. This year has already been, in many aspects, life changing. I believe that will continue to hold true throughout the school year.