by Tanvi Rao (’22)| March 29, 2021
Wednesday, March 11, 2020. A schoolwide email goes out to the students of Saint Francis, announcing that the entire campus will be closed until March 30 in light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. I recall reading the message while crouched over some chemistry homework, stressed about an upcoming quiz. Two whole weeks of a closed campus? Immediately, my phone buzzed. I opened it to find numerous texts from friends, ecstatic about the recent statement. We were only second-semester sophomores, excited about a new change and a spontaneous break.
Fast forward one whole year, our school has recently started the hybrid learning model, carefully inching towards the normal school life we had so long ago. The friends I so eagerly made plans with before are reduced to smiling squares on my screen, and the idea of meeting with them now is considered to be high-risk.
For many students at Saint Francis, this year has been different from any other. It has been a transformative experience, in both positive and negative ways. To reflect on the impact of the one-year anniversary of quarantine, I followed the stories of a couple of fellow Lancers.
With the lack of social interaction during these trying times, many Lancers have used quarantine as an opportunity to focus on themselves optimistically. Jesse de Guzman (’22) discussed how quarantine allowed her to expand upon her creative skills, saying, “I have discovered a new sense of style over this year, which enabled me to gain a lot more self-love and confidence. I’m definitely a lot happier with myself than I was pre-COVID.”
Caitlin Chan (’22) used quarantine to focus more on her artistic interests: “I’ve been able to improve my skills with all the time on my hands. I usually draw digital art, but now I’ve started to practice pen drawings and watercolor.”
Over quarantine, Yuna Liang (’23) explored her passion for music: “I’m focusing more on branching out with my music capabilities by teaching, hopefully starting a blog/YouTube channel, songwriting, and focusing on guitar as well.”
Even though quarantine had taken away a huge part of our lives, many Lancers used their newfound time to explore hobbies and discover activities that bring them joy.
Not only has quarantine given us a chance to hone our talents, but it has also taught us the importance of family and social bonds. Emily Williams (’22) emphasized how quarantine showed her how much love she had for her family and friends: “Quarantine has taught me that I am so blessed to have such great friends and family! Spending so much time with my family has allowed me to appreciate them even more, and not being able to see my friends and having to rely on text and FaceTime has made me realize how much I love my friends!”
Kathryn Evans (’22) also focused on her relationships during quarantine: “Quarantine reaffirmed the fact that life is short and unpredictable. It taught me to not sweat the small things and to appreciate the time you have with friends and loved ones.”
This year of quarantine evoked a whirlwind of emotions from our community, but has also taught us the importance of exploring our own passions and strengthening connections with those around us. With the recent distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, the situation is starting to look hopeful! Keep on pushing, Lancers! Together, we can get through these taxing times.