Courtesy of Crystal Yeh

Crystal Yeh’s first year of high school was ruined by COVID.

Crystal Yeh

January 8, 2021

From spirit days at school suddenly changing to pajama days at home, COVID-19 has definitely made itself a chapter in my life. While I’ve been blessed for my family to have the resources to stay safe, my heart goes out to the lives lost and the families impacted by the pandemic. Now, these past 10 months or so have really allowed me to grow as a person and learn more about the world around me. If I had to name this chapter, it would be “Turning Challenges into Opportunities”.

Going into my first year of high school virtually was not ideal, but being online forced me to make the first move and reach out to people first and I’ve met amazing friends that way. It is strange though, becoming close friends with someone over Google Meet who you’ve never actually met in person. I’d have to applaud the teachers, though, for learning how to use all this new technology and getting us into, sometimes awkward but always enjoyable, breakout rooms. Without the teachers and guidance counselors’ support, I definitely wouldn’t be staying on top of everything right now. Joining different clubs like SGA and Mock Trial has really provided me with fun and close-knit communities too. There are obviously challenges in leading certain clubs being that online communication is heavily relied on and that can bring a whole lot of other conflicts. However, they taught me how to improvise when an issue suddenly arises, adapt to new situations, and finally overcome these challenges. Since we’re all in the same position where we’re all susceptible to Wi-Fi issues, power outages, and whatnot, I’ve also learned patience and how to be a more understanding person. 2020 really marks the year in my mental health’s growth too. Sometimes staying away from friends is tough but spending some time alone has given me time to reflect upon myself and find ways to improve upon those reflections. Anti-racism has been and always will be a prevalent topic, and this pandemic also gave me the opportunity to educate myself and others on it. So that being said, we can end this chapter on 2020 and open it up to 2021 and all there is to come from it!

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