An Insider’s View On Isolation As A Student


Sam Marwin, Opinions editor

Today marks the two week’s back at school since the most recent quarantine. It’s actually quite refreshing to be back, as a fellow student. Staying at home for so long, deprived of other human interaction with our Governor Witmer’s isolation rules in place, made me forget how much I miss seeing people. I’m not the most social person, but the few people I care about made me forget just for a few minutes about my worries. Being in the confinement in my bedroom for a few months left me with quite a few problems.  

Let’s start with online learning. I know teachers are trying their best to continue the lesson plans they worked hard on, but online learning is for sure not for everyone. I was struggling to just get out of bed in the morning, much less work on the 40 missing assignments I had. I thought if I just worked on it tomorrow, it’d be fine. Tomorrow turned into days, weeks, and then months later. Just coming back today, I have more motivation than I’ve had in the last  two months. 

Motivation was so hard to come by without other people learning around me forcing me to work. Several other students feel the same way. Everyone learns different, and for some people, being in school is necessary. Another problem with online learning is that some students’ homes aren’t good learning environments. Shared homes, noisy neighbors, and even abusive parents make learning online much harder than it should be. According to The Markup, the increase of D’s and F’s have gone up to 30 percent. “I can’t work in my house. There’s too many distractions,” says a student who wishes to remain unnamed. For me, I didn’t necessarily have my own designated spot to go on zoom calls, and do assignments. When I’m working in bed, I find it’s easy to fall asleep. Which probably explains why I have so many missing assignments. My mental health was shot after just a few weeks. Giving up seemed so easy when school didn’t feel real.

Online learning is one thing, but another formality of not seeing people is that I lost some of my friends. For me, being around friends is a reason for me to keep going. Everyone, not just me, likely found keeping up with friends difficult. Yes, I know it’s for our own protection, but remember what I said before, motivation is key. Without friends, it became hard to come by. “I lost touch with a lot of people,” says an anonymous student. “My friends usually pushed me through tough spots, and helped with homework. I found I was all by myself. It was hard.” they continued. Being back in school now, interacting with other people has brought my mood up, as much as my introverted self doesn’t want to admit it.

We may only be two weeks in, yet I have a feeling that if there’s another spike in the coronavirus, this will happen again. It sucks, but we have to get used to the formalities to come.