These are trying times and we are all being affected. This pandemic means a different way of life for the next coming months, sending ripples of shutdown across the globe. On a lighter note, we are living through history, and we requested the help from our community to record it. While it might be something we all want to avoid thinking about right now, it’s something we will want to remember down the road. Everyone’s stories and feelings are valid, and we want to hear yours. If you would like to submit you own perspective, email it to [email protected] As a staff, the LN North Star has gathered multiple distinct perspectives from the community in dealing with this hectic time. Today, we will be focusing on responses from the students, other than seniors, in the community. We will be featuring the seniors in their own post at a later date.
Junior Ella Greiwe
The COVID-19 pandemic has been crazy and strange for everyone. When I first heard of Corona I was sure that it would never reach Indiana let alone our county. I was and have never been super worried about the virus. I’m careful with who and how I interact with people, making sure I sanitize as needed, but I never thought it would spread so quickly and cause such a panic. When I heard school got canceled, I was very shocked. I knew it would be hard to do schooling online, and it sucked that I wouldn’t be able to see my friends or teachers again before the school year ended. Being in quarantine and not being able to see people or go to school took a toll on me emotionally as I’m sure it has on many other students as well. I am a very extroverted person, so initially it was very hard. But over the first week and a half I was tired of being mad, so I made some changes. I made myself follow a schedule, so I felt like I had some purpose and goals for my day. First I get up and do my school work, then I’ll do a workout, go outside or for a walk, work on a project like music or painting, and by then I’ll have some free time to just watch Netflix, or do whatever else I want. I also have been going on drives when it’s nice out to get some air and see some different scenery. After all of this is over, I’m most excited to see my friends again, and have the freedom to go out and do things. I think the majority of students will not take for granted the simple pleasure of being able to see each other.
Junior Serena Thompson
This year is supposed to be different. It’s a new decade. Which means this is the promising start of something new. There are so many things to look forward to in 2020. I’ll be entering my senior year of high school, applying to college, and celebrating my 18th birthday. All of these possibilities are exciting, and I didn’t think that any of them could be jeopardized. That was until the news broke out about the Coronavirus. Being in quarantine has changed the normalcy of my life. I didn’t think I’d be completing junior year online. Every day I wake up, shower, get on the computer and repeat. I might have a zoom meeting or two. Although everyone is doing the best they can with what they have, I’ll be the first to say this isn’t the ideal way to learn. I have so many questions running through my mind at once. It just makes me stressed about the future. I miss my friends so much. I can’t wait to see them all again. I miss getting up and driving to school. I miss all of these things because it feels like I no longer have anything to look forward to. After my school work is done, I sit restlessly around the house trying to discover something to do. So far I have done nothing but think. What I think about the most is how much I’ve taken for granted. Being forced to stay home has made me realize how important human interaction is. I believe talking to people and seeing new faces make us more connected. Connecting makes me thrive and feel normal. I can’t wait for all of this to be over, so I can live an ordinary life again. This experience is once in a lifetime, and it has taught me so much, but the number one thing I’ve learned is how valuable a human life can be.
Junior Natalie Rowland
When I started my junior year, I knew it was going to be hard. I was taking four AP classes and had taken on the role of Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. I was aware that this was a lot to take on, but I never thought it would be quite this difficult. When I first heard that we were going to be closed for the rest of the year, several things were running through my head. What were my classes going to look like? What did this mean for AP exams? How would I go this long without seeing my friends and peers? And most importantly, how was I going to lead the staff and continue to make content for our newspaper when we all can’t even see each other?
Over the course of several video chats and Zoom calls, we had come up with a solution. Thankfully we had a website we could use to continue to publish our content and through technology I could still communicate with the staff. While it is quite different to be doing all our interviews, story writing, and graphic creating all online from our own homes, it is not impossible, and we have been able to make it work. This situation has stretched me in more ways than I thought it would as I’ve had to grow as a leader and an editor in order to continue to produce the quality content that North Star stands for. While it is not what I imagined my junior year being nor is it the ideal situation, it is definitely something that has taught me a lot. No it is not all easy. Yes there are still difficult days all with their own challenges, but through the help of my peers I have been able to grow in order to work through this situation and make it work.
Junior Brooklynn Baurle
I think the way I’ve been dealing with it is ok. Although it has restricted me from getting to hangout with my friends and to be able to do the things I used to do on a day to day basis, I also feel like it’s a turning point for me and made me realize not to take the things I usually could do everyday for granted.
Junior Elizabeth Coats
I had first learned of the virus in January. Each morning before school, I would have my Google Home play snippets of the important news of each day from various channels. Each channel mentioned a new virus that was beginning to spread throughout China and had even begun spreading to other countries. I treated it as something insignificant because I did not truly recognize it as a threat. In just the first few months of 2020, there were threats of a war between the United States and the Middle East, fires in Australia, locusts in Africa, volcanic eruptions in the Philippines. Each day there is a new catastrophe or injustice where there are numerous victims, I felt that this was no different. When the virus touched the United States, I still felt no fear or lingering worry the way others had.
At the first sign of trouble, many became selfish. They thought only of themselves as they went out to hoard an unnecessary amount of supplies. They thought only of their hatred when they began to take their anger out on those of Asian descent. My discomfort does not lie in the virus, but in the people. The panic of the virus has led to discrimination and uneasiness towards Asians.
When I had gone to visit my great uncle in the hospital in late February, the news of the coronavirus was on the television in the waiting room. When I sat down, a woman who was two chairs away from me, moved to the other side of the room. In early March, I had visited the grocery store for the first time since the outbreak and was met with venomous glares. I went down an aisle that already had numerous people in it, but a woman looked at me and quickly pulled her mask over her face. Later that same trip, a man walked past me and muttered an Asian slur under his breath. On another trip to the store, a man deliberately spat on my car as I was loading it with groceries.
I try to not harbor any negative feelings towards these people. Their unease towards me stems from their fear of the virus. I am fortunate that I will most likely not experience any violence, but I am anxious every time I need to leave my house. Each day, I read another case where an Asian person is targeted, humiliated or brutalized by others. But I have found peace in knowing that while there are people who are willing to commit such egregious acts, there are others who are extending a hand to those who have been victimized.
Sophomore Mallory Inman
When I started my sophomore year, I was so nervous. I was worried about the new teachers I would have, and I was wondering if my friends would be in my classes. But fast forward a little before the quarantine happened. I loved sophomore year. I was enjoying the new experiences I was making, and I couldn’t wait to make more. When I heard the news that we weren’t going to have school for a little while, I was excited for a little break. But 2 weeks with no school then turned into no more school, and I was devastated. I wanted a short break, but just like that my sophomore year was basically over. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my friends or teachers.
Pretty soon in class experiences turned into zoom calls and conferences with my teachers and classmates. Teachers still have tried to make it work, but it makes me miss everything we did in school. Like most people, I miss school, I miss seeing my friends and even the teachers. After this is over, I’m looking forward to just being able to see my family and friends. I’m excited to create more memories when this is all over. I didn’t expect my sophomore year to end so quickly. But I’m trying to keep a positive outlook, that I’m going to be able to make more memories junior year.
Sophomore Cecilia O’Leary
I remember starting sophomore year thinking this was going to be the best year and nothing could go wrong, but then I saw one word in the news, “pandemic.” I remember me and my friends hoping that we might get a few extra weeks off of school because we all wanted an extra break. I realize now that we shouldn’t have phrased like that. After the first few days everything started to become more difficult and e-learning was already becoming a struggle to keep up with. Then we learned our orders to stay in were extended for a longer period of time and now we are stuck wondering when we will ever get out. It’s the things that no one ever thinks of. I never thought I’d be missing going to school everyday. I never thought there would be a time when I can only talk to my friends and extended family through a phone. I never thought I would be struggling so hard to keep up with the daily lessons. But most importantly I never thought I would be scared to go out in the world. As of now, I try to stay positive but it can be difficult since no one really knows how long it will last.
Junior Renee Preston
Honestly, my initial reaction to schools closing and being quarantined was excitement. I could work at my own pace on schoolwork, sleep in, and my whole family would be together all the time! As time passes, I do still enjoy all those things, but I am missing my teachers and friends more and more. I’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible in my daily routine. I still wake up to an alarm in the morning (although it’s about an hour later than I’d wake up to go to school), I do my schoolwork in the regular order, and finish around the time that school would end. The most different thing is that I have no homework, which has allowed me to do other things such as learning guitar, cross-stitching, puzzles, etc.
Despite keeping things normal academically, I was greatly disappointed when my mission trip to El Salvador over spring break was cancelled. I had been looking forward to it, and at the time when it was cancelled I still hadn’t really wrapped my brain around how bad this virus was going to get, so it seemed unnecessary. I’m also disappointed that things like prom were cancelled, and holidays like Easter had to be celebrated at home without extended family as usual. However, amidst the disappointments, I’ve found ways to stay positive, such as finding creative ways to celebrate and do things on the days that special events would have happened. For example, on Easter the families on my street hid eggs around the outside of their house and families from around the neighborhood were able to go on Easter egg hunts while staying a safe distance apart. As crazy as this is, I find solace in knowing that we are all in this together, and that this will ultimately help me cherish the time I spend with people all the more when we can gather in person again.
Junior Matthew Kretler
At the beginning of my junior year, I knew this was going to be a hard year as it has been portrayed by most people as the hardest year of high school. I was taking three AP classes, I never took one prior to this year, and would take on a couple of roles that would take up a considerable amount of time outside of school, tweeting out many sports games for the North Star and later being designated as the Sports Editor for the North Star. Along with this, this is the year that you have to take either the ACT or SAT or both, figure out what you want to major in college, and start to look at colleges with the responsibilities as followed. March 12, 2020 was a day that in my lifetime will live in infamy. I was in my pajamas flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch as it was much harder with the cancellation of many sports because of Covid-19, and finally got the news either from a phone call from the township or a news headline, I don’t really remember. What I do remember is the words that would change my life in 2020 instantly, “ Governor Holcomb has ordered that all public schools will be closed through May 1st.” My heart sank for a bit, the realization of no school was kind of daunting and even more so was the realization of not being able to attend in person the rest of the Boys Basketball tournament. I covered their crazy road to a sectional title from beating Lawrence Central for the third time that season to the two true “Cardiac Cats” games, LN beats Crispus Attucks 76-73 and LN wins a sectional title vs. Warren Central, 61-59. This would have all had to wait and the later cancellation of it was truly heartbreaking since they were poised to have a legitimate shot to win state. Covid-19 has ripped away a lot of my happiness and the happiness of many others who find that escape from life in sports. Through these difficult times I have learned a lot.
The first couple of weeks of quarantine truly changed me for the better despite this being a difficult situation. The hard part was that I could literally not leave my house at all. Before this virus took the country, my grandma and grandpa were starting to move out of their house of 48 years to a retirement home. Anybody who has ever moved knows that this is a grueling process. Anyways, my Mom was planning on going to their house in Cincinnati to help them with this process for the first couple of weeks of quarantine. She would go there for two to three days at a time and then come back home for a day and this cycle would repeat over that period of two weeks. Coupled with this, I could not go anywhere outside of my house and a brisk walk around the neighborhood keeping six feet of distance because my grandpa, whom my Mom was there to help him and my grandpa move, has two kinds of stage four cancer so he is very susceptible to Covid-19. I could not risk contracting it, transmitting it to my Mom who could then transmit it to my grandpa which would ultimately be a death sentence for him. This forced upon me a very important lesson that’s hard for me, a very stubborn person, to learn, adaptability. Adaptability is something that is important in game situations and is very apparent in the game of life that we all are in. I had to learn to adapt to take care of my 10 year old sister for most of the day because of my Dad being at work from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, hold myself personally accountable for all the school work that I was going to get, deal with my new mental health struggles, and also take initiative in the search for colleges online because the visits that I had planned to go on during Spring Break of course couldn’t happen now because of Covid-19.
I didn’t like that I had to start this journey, but I am grateful for everything this experience has taught me and will continue to teach me.
For all those people out there that are struggling to adapt to this difficult hand that Covid-19 has given us, remember these two quotes
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change,” Charles Darwin.
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend,” Bruce Lee.
Sophomore Jonah Maple
I had a lot of hopes going into this last part of my sophomore year. I was about to start my track season, and I had goals to break and was overall just very excited. Just before my first big meet at University of Indianapolis, school got cancelled. I was understandably frustrated. Earlier, the Model UN conference at IUPUI got cancelled, and everything that I was looking forward to was down the drain.
Most of all, I missed my friends and my track team. It was hard for me to think that Thursday was the last day that I was going to see my friends for a long time, and could be the last time that I see my senior captains. However, there were no goodbyes that day, no telling people how much you will miss them, it all just went away. That Thursday, March 12th was not a typical end of the school year. Now my life feels like it is going nowhere, and just going through the same routine every day, solemn about not being able to do anything, go anywhere, or see my friends.
The one way that I can push myself through this is by setting goals, so that I do not slip into a state where I find no purpose in what I am doing. At this time right now it seems that we need projects and motivation to get through it. This may be different for different people I am still running every day, even if I can not do it with my friends and teammates. I am still trying to get under five minutes in the mile, even if I don’t get my coaches to help me through it. I know that this time may be remembered as just a boring time when we had to stay inside, but there are so many people out there who are suffering, fighting, and trying to stay alive.
Sophomore Lucy Kramer
I have always been a person who thrived on the energy of being surrounded by others. That’s just what happens when you are an extrovert. I’ve always been a very social butterfly, so social distancing has really been a challenge for me. Normally, I live off of a packed schedule between school, my job, swimming, robotics, and newspaper. I am always kept busy and running around.
It’s been a challenge not being able to see my friends or go to practice. I feel like I am being robbed of my high school years. For example, the BMV closed the day I was eligible to get my drivers license. The first time you drive by yourself is bound to be something you remember forever and for me I will always remember how COVID-19 put that on hold for me.
But through this experience I have learned more things about my family and about myself as a person. Since I have always had such a hectic schedule I never really got to spend time with my younger brother, who is in seventh grade and has an equally busy schedule, but with this quarantine things we have gotten to hang out more. The other day we just hung out in the kitchen late at night and laughed about random things. We’ve never done that before so I’m grateful for the chance to make these memories.
During this time I have been out of work but I have been fortunate enough to be hired by an amazing family, who live just down the road from me, to babysit their kids four days of the week. I am grateful for this opportunity, because it gives me a sense of purpose during this time and honestly I have so much fun hanging out with these kids.
This stay at home order sucks, there’s no denying that. But sometimes you just need to put on a smile and look on the brightside. Quarantine has taught me to take a step back from my busy life and look at the things around me I have taken for granted and for that I am grateful. Like most people I can’t wait to go back to what is “normal” or as close to it as we can, but I am not going to forget the things I have learned during this time.
Sophomore Michael Terry
Quarantine has become a commonplace word in most households around the World, as the SARS-COV-2 Virus, and its connected disease, COVID-19, continue to wreck the lives of people 20 and older. To us, it may not seem like a huge problem, CNN, Fox and other news outlets continue to hide the recovery rates and numbers, in order to boost their views and create a pseudo sense of fear.
In My Household, things haven’t really changed. It’s given me time to work on my car, which I crashed earlier this year, build and fix things around the house, sharpen my cooking skills, and become a better wiffle ball player than my brother. My mom already worked from home for Anthem, and my Dad worked at home on Fridays before the shutdown, so nothing really changed besides the sheer amount of food we intake during the day. A normal day now consists of about 14 Hours straight in front of a screen, I’ve fallen behind in school so it inches closer to 16 Hours and the work is still piling on. But as long as my electricity and internet stay on (Which they Frequently go out because of the poor maintenance of the power lines, Thanks IPL) I can get somewhat of most of my work done. But I’m perfectly fine hanging around the house doing my work from home, it’s comfortable yet easier to be distracted.
Junior Aiden Thompson
This coronavirus pandemic has been hard to deal with. I’ve kind of been stuck inside all day, not really had a lot to do other than my schoolwork and occasionally get out and golf and play some basketball. I am getting a lot of time to spend with my family though which is a good thing and every once in a while I get out to see some friends that I know I’ve kind of been stuck up just like me. In the end it’s not the worst thing. There could be a lot worse things than this., so I’m just looking positively about it.
Junior Hannah Johnson
I look at everyday with a different thought now compared to two months ago. I miss going to school everyday seeing all of my friends in different classes and going to lacrosse practices with my teammates. This entire pandemic has changed everything in my life and I am still in shock within everything that is going on. I wouldn’t say that I’m upset with the situation we are all in but I do wish that people would actually take this seriously and just listen to the news. The news has only been trying to inform everyone on what is actually happening versus what people are telling each other. I feel like e-learning has taken a toll on my mental wellbeing not in a bad way, but in a way where I miss school and having physical learning and not learning over a screen. The more zoom calls I have to interact with, the more it makes me feel “lonely”. I miss the way the world was before all of this happened. Besides everything that has happened, I have tried my best to stay positive through it all and I have been taking more time to myself to make myself a better person.
HSE Sophomore Evan Scott
It’s been a little bit weird going through this. Well that’s an understatement. It’s been downright bizarre dealing with not only quarantine and the like, but also the unprecedented deal of moving while this is all going on. It’s difficult to relax at home when home doesn’t feel like it. I, despite the stay at home orders, have been all over the country. I was in Nebraska for a while looking for homes, and it’s difficult to socialize and play games with everyone while I’m always on the move, and you can’t play Animal Crossing or Doom on a 12 hour car ride. It’s a little odd seeing everyone at home with their girlfriends and family, while I’m out on the highway for what seems like the eighth time today. At the very least, this whole thing is coldly lonely.