COVID-19 has found its way into the conversations of just about everyone. In addition to being the main talking piece in news, it shut down much of what was considered “normal”: schools, restaurants, businesses, etc. Even with this tough and strenuous situation, many people have been using their extra time off to take charge.
With school moving to the digital world, students now have hours of extra time throughout the day that can be used in several different ways. Some have decided to further their knowledge with the usage of online tools. Many colleges, including ivy leagues such as Harvard and Stanford, have opened up a plethora of online courses that relate to a wide variety of interests. With courses from “Science and Cooking” to “Architectural Imagination”, students can keep themselves busy for a couple of hours every week with absolutely no cost.
At a time where a regular class schedule is not being emphasized, studying for nationwide tests has also become a top priority. The format of AP exams, ACTs, and SATs are still being worked out, with the AP exams already being moved to a shorter online test. These tests, however, continue to have students stressed, “It’s just very different. I think the entire test-taking method is more difficult than the material. Physics on a paper is hard enough, on the computer is even worse,” says Briar Woods Junior Raeva Gangidi. To review, she has been using her extra time to work on practice exams and watch videos released by the College Bboard.
Other students have been taking the time to step away from academics to focus on their physical and mental health. This, although emphasized in school, is not something that many students have the opportunity to think about and incorporate into their lives. One aspect of this that is often allotted small amounts of time due to school, sports, extracurriculars, and homework is sleep. While the recommended amount is 8-10, by the SleepFoundation, many students got around 5-6 during the regular school year. With all outside gatherings being canceled, students are now able to for the recommended amount and live healthier lifestyles. Many students have also used this time to begin working out. “The Coronavirus has given me a lot of free time so I decided to use it in a productive way. Since I wasn’t really doing anything during the day, I used working out as a way to use my time wisely. It has also given me the energy to get other things done afterward,” says Briar Woods Junior Aditi Garg.
This has also been a time of change for many people. Sitting around with nothing to do has allowed time for students to get creative. Vilina Upadhye, a Briar Woods Jjunior, has taken time to rearrange and redecorate her room. She is also getting ready to begin painting parts of her house, a project that her mom has long wanted to start with her. Other students have stuck to smaller canvases, painting small images.
While the virus has taken away much of what constitutes “normal” for Briar Woods students, keeping busy and healthy has become a great way to stay busy. This time away from school, although due to a devastating circumstance, is one that many students needed and have been able to use to work on themselves.