In Their Own Words

Learning about myself

Lockdown first impacted me and other Nova Scotian students during March break. My break extended for around two to three weeks as people scrambled for answers. During this time, I did not need to do or think about school. Instead, I relaxed and was happy!

While teachers, medical professionals and government workers worked hard to figure out the next steps, I played. I believed that the lockdown would not last long so I knew I could not take this long school break for granted.

I stayed up late, woke up late, watched movies, played games … I did everything and anything that I could not do while in school. I took up new hobbies such as learning Morse code and trying my hand in cooking, and I also read books. However, all of this centered around a major issue: screen time.

I learned Morse code through YouTube and looked up recipes online; I read books on my tablet and watched movies on my phone. My eyes bled and hurt, but since this was a rare chance to not do homework every night, I spent countless hours on my computer and phone.

When I began online learning, I was very excited. I heard that school hours would be reduced, and I could still continue with my lack of sleep and binge watching. I obviously loved asynchronous class because not only did I not do schoolwork during that time, but I also did my own things.

It was very hard to concentrate on school during the pandemic because school was shortened, and I could go to class either on the bed or on the beach. It was also hard to understand the curriculum when the teacher could not speak to you individually. As a result, I spent most of my time learning my classes through online resources. While it helped me improve my computer skills such as typing and researching, I could not understand the curriculum during class time and was always terrified to answer questions.

Overall, I loved online classes. My mental health became better, but my physical health fell gradually. Without a doubt, my eyes grew worse, and I barely went out. I did not exercise at home because there is not a lot of space at home, and it felt embarrassing to work out in front of my family.

Educational learning during the pandemic was a tough experience for many and I understood those who felt like that. It was hard on me, too. While I did not learn as much as I should have – I did not listen well – I learned so much about myself and it did so much for me. That was the best outcome that came out of this terrifying experience.

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Carmen Peng

Horton High School – Grade 12
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

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