Loveland High School Junior reflects on her coronavirus quarantine experience
By Anna Colletto, Contributor
LOVELAND, OH (May 7, 2020) – Going into my Junior Year of High School, I expected to be spending my spring stressing over AP exams, goofing off with my best friends after school, going to prom, and seeing my senior classmates graduate in May. The COVID-19 pandemic redefined my experience as a student. I’m not even allowed in the school building during my favorite part of the school year.
Anna Colletto, junior, Loveland High School (Provided)
Don’t get me wrong. I know I am incredibly lucky. Not only am I looked after by incredible educators in Loveland, but I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and a family with whom I love spending time. It’s been great to sleep-in till 8 a.m. and watch movies every night with my parents. It feels like a huge part of my life, a huge part of what brings me joy, has been ripped away by quarantine. School is often difficult, especially during junior year, but it really is my second home. Some days I’m at the high school from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some days I would rather be anywhere else, but I would gladly do every difficult test and frustrating day all over again just to go back for the end of the year.
Remote Learning is difficult. It’s become a recurring phrase on the news and a popular punchline for comedians quarantined with young kids. Learning at home is not an easy feat for teachers or students. I often struggle to keep up motivation and to fully retain new information. Adjusting to new AP tests and expectations has been a huge struggle
itself to prepare for and deal with. It’s been made more difficult with social isolation. I didn’t realize what seeing my teachers and classmate’s everyday did to boost my mood. In retrospect, it did a whole lot for my mental health and my capacity to learn. Remote learning becomes more difficult when it comes to the arts, sports, and extracurriculars. All of my lessons, classes, group meetings, and Summer Camps have transitioned to video calls. Suddenly the best parts of my day have been relocated to a computer screen.
I’ve seen a lot recently about my age group – kids born around 2001, students whose education has been consistently marked by crises – and how these seemingly constant global situations, including Coronavirus, have defined my generation’s experience.
I think the most impactful for me was the Sandy hook massacre when I was in 4th grade and the Parkland high school shooting. Larger issues, like climate change and equal rights, are others defining the news while I was growing up. Sometimes it feels like the world around me has always been falling apart.
One of Anna’s extracurriculars was performing and earning a Cappie nomination in ‘My Fair Lady’ (Photo credit Steve Kovacs)
More than ever, I am grateful to be in a world of people who don’t “fall apart”. Administrators in Loveland have gone out of their way to ensure students feel recognized and cared for; even through a screen. My choir teacher calls the show choir students twice a week to make us feel normal by checking in and telling terrible jokes. My English teacher continues to cheer us on every day for our successes and never stops trying to help. My government teacher ends every google meet by asking us how we are doing – and really listening. People in Loveland are supporting food drives and small businesses; churches continue sending out messages, friends are being supportive – even when they’re distant, and life is still continuing.
This is definitely not the junior year I expected. It’s not the school year anyone my age expected, but my experience hasn’t been defined by the things I have lost. If anything, it’s been defined by the creativity and resilience of my community. You can say what you want about kids my age, but I think this period of our lives will propel us into our futures with more appreciation for things we might have taken for granted. I miss school, I miss my friends, I strongly dislike online learning but I am grateful to be safe and, I am thankful to be in Loveland.
Editor’s Note: Loveland Beacon is pleased to welcome Anna Colletto on board as a regular contributor. This is the first of, we hope, many contributions Anna. She will enter her senior year at LHS when classes resume for the 2020/2021 school year. Anna has expressed an interest in pursuing journalism as a career.
Please join me in offering encouragement and support to Anna as she shares her written stories here on Loveland Beacon. RATE THIS STORY BELOW. What do you think?