On Thursday, March 12, our classes heard the announcement a lot of us had been waiting for since the news broke about the current pandemic that is happening around the world.
The ending of school for an unspecified amount of time was a cause of some relief to a lot students. The idea of early mornings being put to a halt and itchy uniforms being hung up caused this closure to feel almost like a midterm break.
The closing of school for me felt like a chance to wind down, with the government encouraging everyone to take this as an opportunity to spend more time outdoors (within social distance requirements.) Before guidelines became tighter, one look onto any part of the Curragh would show you the amount of people, many of whom were teenagers basking in this release from work and school, and were enjoying the undemanding days and good weather, for the time being.
But the novelty of this closure soon wore off, when online classes started feeling like a requirement, rather than a recommendation. Deadlines loomed nearer, and the workload was piling up. Trying to learn at home in a non-educational environement, where you can get up for a cup of tea or decide to pack in the schoolwork for the day at any given moment, has proven to be difficult.
I am in fifth year, and finding it quite challenging to keep focused during this strange time, especially when the media is saturated with constant updates concerning the virus.
It is understandable that many students may be affected by this closure, nevermind the pandemic in general, if they are already under a lot of stress due to the looming Leaving and Junior Cert.
However, I have definitely learned a lot about self-discipline during this closure, and have regularly had to tap into the skill of self motivation these past few weeks.
Getting yourself organised for the day ahead, having to make your own schedule and plan, while seeming strenuous at first, leaves a feeling of accomplishment behind. This is the mindset we will need when we are older to progress in life, and current situation is the perfect opportunity to learn about these, while we have the time (and right now we have plenty of that!).
While these current circumstances we are now in may leave us all apprehensive as to what the future will hold, and possibly put a halt to summer plans, with all things considered we, as students, have probably the best deal of all.
An unexpected chance
With instant ways of contacting teachers for help, and an abundance of resources online, the only thing we can do for now is use this unexpected time off as an opportunity.
We can spend time with our families and catch up on work we missed, because soon enough we’ll be sitting in a classroom again, thinking back on the time when we could do schoolwork in our pyjamas, and from the comfort of our own homes.
Kate Dooley is a fifth year student at the Cross and Passion Secondary School, Kilcullen, Co Kildare
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