Updated: Feb 16, 2021
by Ryan Delaney
Since I am relatively new to the Fairfield County Lifestyle family and since this is my first personal writing on the blog, I want to introduce myself before I go any further. My name is Ryan, and I am currently a senior at Weston High School. I have lived in Weston my whole life with my two younger brothers: Dylan, who is 15, and Brady who is 13. Today I am writing about my experiences with the COVID pandemic as a high school student.
It is very hard to simplify what I am feeling from this pandemic into words that would make sense to anyone besides myself. The best way I can describe everything is overwhelming. I have so many things I would love to express, but I really don’t know how, so here we go:
I have so much extra responsibility for someone who is still a teenager. Not only will I miss out on the typical junior and senior year traditions, but I also have to be extra cautious about any interactions I have beyond the walls of my house. I have stockpiles of hand sanitizer and masks in my car, plenty of each in my school bag and even a basket full of masks at home.
Plus, as a senior, the first half of my year was overwhelmed by college applications and getting the best grades I could possibly get. I couldn’t visit the majority of my college campuses and all of the information sessions were through zoom. It was very hard to find colleges I even remotely liked because I was unable to get a real feel for the schools.
In terms of my day-to-day schooling, the chaos gets even worse. In all fairness, I know the administration at my school has tried their hardest to make our lives as easy and safe as possible while giving us the most amount of school hours they could, but the schedules they have created have been super confusing. Not only was the school split in half and put into two cohorts, but we have been giving three different schedule variations since the start of school. On top of the uncertainty of the pandemic, we have had to remember which schedule we are on and if we even go to school that day. Everyone gets lost in the schedule and many teachers find it hard to remember who is voluntarily online, online just for the day with their cohort or who is supposed to be in person. Just last week, my friend got confused about which cohort was supposed to be in the school building and accidentally skipped a whole day of school and none of her teachers even noticed.
My at home set-up so I can be comfortable all day online
On top of all these abnormalities, being able to see my friends, who have helped me survive the last few years of school, is a rare occurrence. I have to balance staying safe and also attempting to maintain a social life to help my mental health from going down the drain which is why when I do see my friends we stay outside with masks and layers of blankets to stay warm.
I hope this helps describe a different side of the pandemic then you may be used to and will help you and your kids in the future. My goal here was to raise awareness about the additional stress many teenagers besides myself are going through and potentially bring the message that we all need a little break.
Thank you :)