What I wish I learned before quarantine


Photo By Betty Berhane

Senior Betty Berhane uses her planner to keep track of her assignments for the week

As a second semester senior, there are definitely a few things I’ve learned about myself throughout my four years (well more like two and a half years of real high school experience… but who’s counting…) Being in quarantine and having to maneuver life during these unprecedented times has revealed more things about myself than I ever thought possible. In this article, I will be going over my best tips and tricks to make your high school career as successful as possible.

Get a planner

While this does seem like such a small tip, getting a planner or assignment book of some kind can change the game in terms of organization. Before quarantine, I was the type of person who was too lazy to write my homework down and thought that I could remember everything I needed to do. This resulted in me forgetting about quizzes and coming close to missing the deadline for assignments. While you might not be this way, I would say I’m generally an organized person, and having a planner only helps even more. It helps me keep track of what assignments I have to do and keep a mental note of what assignments I will be doing each day. This is especially helpful if you are a procrastinator like me. 

Stop caring about the opinions of your peers. 

If you know me, you know that I’m someone who generally doesn’t care about what people think about me. And while I definitely put on this front with my extrovertedness and confidence, I knew deep down that that was never really true. Most of the time, even the people who say that they don’t care about others’ opinions actually do. It wasn’t until quarantine that it clicked in my brain that I was only keeping in contact with a few of my closest friends. Now those are my besties; they know me enough that I never have to act a certain way around them. But only talking to them during this time got me thinking, “I’m not talking to all of the people whose opinions I valued more than my own, so why did I ever care about what they thought about me? It’s not like I’m going to be keeping up with them?” It was these thoughts that actually changed my outlook on the subject. So yeah, post whatever pictures you want, who cares if it doesn’t fit the regular “Instagram high school standards.” Dance and have fun at school events. Act however you want to in the classrooms or in the hallways, because, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what these random people who you’re never going to see again in a couple years think of you. Simply put, be your best, most authentic self at all times. 

Take mental health days

I think we can all agree that Wednesdays being dedicated to asynchronous work has been nothing but a blessing. I never realized how necessary a break in the middle of a stressful week can be until we were given such a gift. That being said, this reminded me of the importance of mental health days. Before the pandemic, I was never one to take a day off when I felt that I needed a bit of relaxation; however, after seeing how much good it can do, how can I go back? If the school year next year switches back to a five day week, I encourage you to take a mental health day here and there if you ever feel the need to catch your breath. This should not be mistaken for taking a day off from school whenever you get stressed, because to be honest when are students at our school not stressed, but should instead be used when you truly feel the need to take a breather. On your mental health days, I advise you to do activities that will bring you peace such as journaling, any kind of arts and crafts, or going on a walk outdoors. 

Do at least one fun activity every weekend  

I know days during the school week are busy. You have to be able to properly manage your time when attending sports practices, club meetings, a job, volunteer hours, homework, and so much more all while getting a good eight hours of sleep. While we’re on the topic of a crowded school week, don’t overly pack your activities. Your college application will be just fine with one or two less clubs that eat away at your free time. For many students, the weekend is the time where one catches up on all assignments and studies what they were not able to accomplish during the week. Trust me, I’ve been there. However, if you don’t give yourself the chance to do something that you actually enjoy, you’re going to find yourself going to bed at 3 a.m. being on your phone because you feel that is the only time you have to yourself. So I beg you, go to those parties, go to the mall with your friends, or grab brunch with your family. Find something that treats yourself so that you are not in a constant mental state of school, school, school. You will find time to get those assignments done if you manage your time well. You deserve it.