Lots of Time With Little To Do

Students Miss Routine Given By School


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Playing video games during his free time is how Nathaniel Bullard (23) spends his time. Struggling to stay busy, he has turned to technology. He can also play with friend which helps him stay in contact with them.

School days can be stressful, long and exhausting; therefore, the recent closure of school might be viewed as good news for many students. However, students are starting to realize how much school makes up their everyday lives.
Even before school was canceled, some teachers began to prepare for the switch to e-learning. Every teacher was required to send out forms to students to identify who has access to the internet in the case of a switch to long-term e-learning. On March 14, school buildings were closed to students until the end of May due to a directive from the governor.
“I knew I was gonna be stuck in my house for who knows how long,” freshman Nathaniel Bullard said. “I didn’t like that.”
Despite not being able to see friends in person, Bullard is trying to enjoy his break from school. He enjoys staying up late and sleeping in. He is thankful that homework keeps him busy. Although, after being at home for a few weeks, he is starting to run out of things to do.
“I’ve been struggling with that,” Bullard said. “Thankfully school has been giving us some work to do to keep my mind off things. I know some people are struggling to keep their mind off of everything. I’m basically doing school work, listening to music, trying to read and play games.”
E-learning gives students the opportunity to manage time and set their own pace. However, they are not able to talk with teachers to receive help, as email and Zoom can only help so much. For the rest of the year, E-Learning is a process students will have to get used to.
“I get very distracted very easily when I’m at home, but when I’m in a classroom, I also always just want to be talking to my friends,” sophomore Gillian McGee said. “I like being in a classroom more but being at home is also pretty nice.”
Aside from online-based learning, there have been several changes to the daily lives of students. Different sleep schedules, little socializing and no change of scenery have started to affect students negatively. McGee recognizes the little changes that have altered her everyday life.
“At first, it was just because I wouldn’t be able to see my friends and I wouldn’t be able to go do all the little things that I do every week like going to clubs and stuff,” McGee said. “But then, after a while, I kinda missed the structure that it gave me and how it gave me a pattern in my day and now I don’t really have that.”

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Zoom is a tool that Gillian McGee (22) uses to socialize with her friends. “We Zoom like every night,” McGee said. “I’d say I’ve kept pretty good contact with almost all my friends.” Zoom has given her the opportunity to talk while social distancing.

Clubs and sports have also been canceled. With no way to meet, it has been hard for Bullard and McGee to keep up with their extracurriculars. Some groups have tried to set up Zoom meetings for members. However, according to McGee, it can be hard for students to feel motivated enough to attend the Louder Than A Bomb meetings.
“We really just go in as friends with Mrs. Rhodes and we just kinda talk and then we will free-write a little bit and then share,” McGee said. “I know they’ve really been encouraging us to write even more but now that we don’t get to share it, nobody really has any motivation to do much so it’s been difficult.”
There have been many changes in students’ lives due to school being canceled. However, there are many ways to fill time at home from cleaning and organizing to talking with friends. It is also important to preserve privacy.
“Students should enjoy some private time,” guidance counselor Mr. Curt Mace said. “Hang in your room. Discover a project to do or find a new hobby.”
Despite the times, it is important to stay safe. Consider finding ways to talk to friends. There is a good chance they are just as bored and lonely.
“I know it is difficult when you can’t hang with your friends, but you can still see them.” Mr. Mace said. “Get creative. Do a group Zoom to talk about what you are watching on Netflix. You could even make it a study group and do homework together.”