Diary of a New Age Girl
The End, But Not Really
This is the episode where we will get caught up with the present day. Exciting!
As everyone knows, 2020 has been a wild year. Especially in America, the handling of the coronavirus and the political climate have been contentious. For me, the beginning of this semester was just like any other. Going through test after test, trying to find the motivation to keep moving forward, and trying not to burn myself out. I was supposed to take the SAT in March and my AP exams in April. That was the biggest source of stress for me. Most of my early 2020 was spent poring over practice SATs and AP exam preparation.
My motivation was the fact that it would all be over by the end of my junior year. I could just focus on putting together my college applications after that. But life seems to have had other plans. My last day of school was March 13, 2020. Just a few days after that, a shelter in place order was put in place. All of my friends and I had a feeling that it would be our last day. They closed down the school activities the day before, including our musical, Grease. The last two months of school went by, but somehow it feels like no time has passed at all.
As I write this, I look out of my window and see a sunny summer day, but my brain is stuck in rainy spring. There are a lot of things about the end of the school year that I miss. Being able to sit outside with my friends during lunch, dodging the rain as I go to my next class, carrying my textbooks to school on the last day. Talking to all of the people I knew every day – nowadays it’s just a text once in a while.
Things are going to be different for a long time. Feeling anxious every time someone without a mask walks past you, washing your hands twenty times a day, carrying hand sanitizer wherever you go. Staying inside for a week seems like nothing now, but just a few months ago it would’ve been concerning. I’ve sat in this very chair for so much of this quarantine, or on the bed across from me, or on the floor beneath me.
I finished my exams at home and half-heartedly completed the work necessary to finish my junior year with passing grades. If there is anything that has passed on from physical to online school, it is the dread it brings me deep inside. During these last few months, the weeks began to blend altogether. Waking up just in time for a 9 AM class, wasting time or completing last minute homework in time for the 1 PM class, and then being too tired to do anything for the rest of the day. Sleep, repeat. And at all of my meals, watching the world devolve into chaos.
I watched the numbers on my TV screen climb higher and higher by the day. I watched the president make promises to reopen at this time or that, knowing it wouldn’t come true. I watched people flooding the beaches despite the rules, and even people claiming that it wasn’t as bad as the media was making it seem.
That aside, these last few weeks alone have seen people taking to the streets for something that was a long time coming. The Black Lives Matter movement – the biggest civil rights movement in American history (even bigger than the one in the 1960s) – finally erupted with a series of protests. I wish it hadn’t been now, of all times.
That’s when the news became harder to stomach. Instead of coronavirus numbers, there were numbers of those injured by the police as they tried to protest. And vice versa. The last week of school was tough. Focusing isn’t the easiest when the biggest civil rights protests are happening as you’re trying to write your final essay.
Not that I’m complaining. It’s for a good cause, and it was going to happen sooner or later. George Floyd was just the final straw for many. The injustices of a broken system can’t be kept under wraps for that long.
On top of it all, it’s pride month, which is always a time of year that requires combating against homophobia and hatred. It really is an intense time.
I’m going to be starting my last year of high school in a few months, whether it be online or in person. My SAT will be in the fall, just in time for my college applications. So maybe it didn’t all quite work out the way I expected or wanted it to. I don’t think I’ll quite have peace of mind until those applications are in, but what else is new?
My summer just started, so we’ll see where it all goes. I guess it’s time to start studying for those standardized tests and to pick up that summer homework.
This has been a great series so far, and I hope to continue updating it every once in a while with life updates. Thank you for reading, and stay safe!