By Jesus Maria Garcia
In March 2020 of my junior year of high school, everything went to a shutdown.
Not only did my siblings and I stop going to school, but my dad also stopped going to work and all of us remained in the house together.
SCHOOL PROVIDED LAPTOPS
At my school, they prepared students that needed a laptop by assigning each student one. I was one of those students that received the laptop of course by signing a paper. If anything were to happen, then I would be held responsible for paying $200 for the damages or losing it.
Obviously I made sure to take care of it.
Also, the school created their own website in which we students needed to stay connected with everything when it comes to news, class codes, and resources.
At first, I thought COVID 19 would not be so important and that the spread would not reach the U.S borders, but no! I was wrong about the outcome.
I did feel scared about the pandemic as the news was updating about the large numbers of people getting affected, people passing away by COVID, people calling it a hoax, any doctor’s recommendation of how to safely deal with the situation.
I felt safe being in my home and not being exposed to people who had it. Normally school would continue, but it was online. At my home we did not have Wi-Fi of our own. You may be wondering how I did my assignments and attended classes by Zoom?
To answer your question, I used McDonald’s Wi-Fi behind my backyard. I was surprised about it as well and utilized it to my advantage until school was over.
However, I probably was not the only one since the McDonalds Wi-Fi is free, so sometimes it was slow. I’m so glad McDonald’s was here when I needed it!
During lockdown I liked it that I did not have to wake up too early to get ready and then go to school. Also, for me as an introvert it was great to not go to school because I would dread socializing.
Since I was dealing with depression due to my mom passing away in the summer of 2019, the Fall of 2019 I was not doing so well and did not want to be surrounded by people.
When teachers or students would casually talk about death it would trigger me to the point of crying. I am aware that some people do not like being isolated or feeling caged in their own home.
I, on the other hand, felt I needed to isolate myself from people and try to find myself, even though I live with my siblings and my dad.
The challenging part for me during the pandemic was ensuring my younger siblings were attending Zoom meetings and doing their assignments; while also helping them out in areas they needed help on.
In my senior year I continued the online classes since my dad felt like it still was not safe for me and my siblings to go to school. Finally we got Wi-Fi of our own.
I would say for graduation they only wanted us to make sure we all passed the STAAR exams, apply to at least the college of our choice, and pass all our classes to be able to purchase the cap and gown.
We did the ceremony in person, but they gave each student a limited number of tickets, eight per student, which is okay for me.
But the ceremony was weird because it has been like ages that I have seen my fellow classmates since the pandemic.
Overall, I am grateful to still be alive, have achieved my high school diploma and to be currently attending the college of my choice.
Jesus M. Garcia attends Dallas College and she hopes to eventually become a Dental Hygienist. Currently living with her siblings and dad, she enjoys creating art.