Essay by Isabel:
Quarantine is tough. There’s barely any interaction with other people besides family, no ability to go out to some of our favorite places around our city, and an underlying sense of fear when we go outside and see people all covered up to take a walk around the neighborhood. I’ve been watching different TV shows such as Outer Banks, 24, and Psych. When I find something I’m interested in, I make sure to learn as much as I can about the show because I have nothing but time. My family and I have been playing a round of cards/a board game a day. My dad is the reigning champion of UNO, and my siblings and I have been attempting to dethrone him each night. These fun games help take my mind off my sadness because of my separation from my friends. I still talk to them on the phone, but it isn’t the same as in person. My brother and mom have taken different approaches, and both of them connect with their friends daily over Zoom. Zoom’s capabilities have surprised me a lot. I have to use it for school, and it hasn’t had any problems. School becomes distracting at home because there are various things to do other than school. I’d recommend that everyone get their homework done right when the teacher assigns it in order to leave time for activities that people want to do or try. My sister and I have tried some yoga together, and I’m learning how to write with shaded bubble letters. We’ve also baked a bunch of desserts including Key Lime Pie, Rice Krispy Treats, a brownie-cookie combination, and blueberry muffins on multiple occasions. When we aren’t making desserts, we make smoothies! Our favorite combination so far has frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, frozen blackberries, milk, greek yogurt, banana, orange, and some chia seeds. We’ve only made it once, but it was refreshing. If you’re bored, I’d recommend trying something at home that you wouldn’t do otherwise. If you’ve never tried to draw, draw. If you’ve never gone on a run, maybe try it. Quarantine, although it’s scary and the world is filled with uncertainty, is a time for us to reflect and find new passions that we can carry on when life gets back to normal.
Essay by Isabel:
I’ve seen a lot of people do puzzles while at home. My friends and I have all attempted to do some larger ones, but can’t seem to get out of the beginning stage and into the middle one, where it comes together. After doing countless amounts of puzzles, I have devised the best way to complete a puzzle while keeping your sanity.
Step One: Look at the photo you will be creating. Notice changes in color, or larger objects that will be helpful when you end up connecting chunks of pieces together.
Step Two: Take out and organize your pieces! This varies from puzzle to puzzle, but I generally like to get the perimeter pieces (the ones with a flat side) in one spot. I then sort by what I think each piece does into the puzzle. If you’re doing a puzzle of the world, and you see the names of two countries in the same continent, put them together! This is the most important step in the entire process. If you don’t have your pieces organized, you’ll be browsing for a piece that could potentially take you 30 minutes to find. That isn’t efficient or a great use of time. I generally have a miscellaneous pile as well for pieces that I can’t identify.
Step Three: Knock out the perimeter! Generally, the edges of the puzzle are the easiest to do. It’s relatively straightforward, and instead of worrying about four pieces going around the single one, you only have to worry about two. When I do this, I set up my corner pieces where I think they’ll end up being, and I work around that. It’s crucial to pay attention to pattern and the colors of the pieces to finish this step quickly!
Step Four: Make chunks! This step generally deviates from the more common ways to finish a puzzle, but I like to complete all of the groups I made in step two. I treat them like mini-puzzles.
Step Five: Connect the chunks! When the chunks are completed, you have a couple of options. I generally like to connect them to the already-finished perimeter, but if there’s a blatantly obvious link between two chunks, do it!
Step Six: Add the finishing touches! In this step, I generally draw from my miscellaneous pile and finish up the last few pieces.
There’s nothing more satisfying than putting the last piece into the puzzle!
Essay by Iraj:
With the newfound time I had, I decided to spend it doing something that would help greatly in the future. The new skill I would learn would be investing in the stock market something that had always interested me, yet I have never found the time to do learn. So I slowly begin to learn more and more in the stock market hoping to make some money over time. It started off small as I used a small amount of the birthday money had I gotten from my parents recently. I would then have my parents open up a brokerage account for me to deposit my money into. This would become a major change for me as I would slowly become more responsible with making choice involving different amounts of money. It also allowed me to talk to new friends through these hard times and share my interests about the stock market. I can often talk to them about how the market is doing and found it as a really good way to keep in contact with others. It has also provided to be a great way to talk to my family as both my sister and my father have also invested into the stock market. Even if in tough times I feel that learning this new skill was worthwhile and even if I made some pocket change. I also understand that everyone could learn something during the stay at home order. So you should invest even a few minutes every day to learn a new skill. It could lead to you finding a new passion and learning new skills, you have never thought you could do.
Essay #2 by Iraj:
After the stay at home order was told, I began to spend more time with my friends online using apps like discord and zoom to play video games after online school. We often talk throughout the day about school and activities we plan to do after quarantine is over. We often join each other to play Apex Legends, BorderLands, and Rainbow Six Siege. This is something that was really interesting to me as it allows me to have fun with my friends well following the stay at home order. For me it was a really good way to have fun and be able still keep in contact with others. I also use it to make more friends with other people who also have the same interests as my friends and I. It proven to be extremely helpful with passing time as the stay at home order passes. As we can have fun and maintain a healthy distance away from each other. It also gives us many benefits as videogames have proven to give people better memory, decision making skills, and improved multi-tasking. Over more time I feel that video games have proven to be extremely useful with keeping me very happy as we are forced to stay home and not question anything. Even in these hard times I feel that it would be incredibly helpful to have an activity which would allow for you to be happy as the more time we spend inside the less time we can spend with our friends. These are a small supplement to the things you could do with your friend during and after school, well allowing for you to build small memories with them even at the stay at home order. These memories would be something that could help you pass time with the stay at home order in place.
Essay #3 by Iraj
School had always had it importance and with the stay at home order in place, most students think that they are over but for me I am still really stressed out about school. Finals have been even more stressful for me as it. Finals for us have been even harder as all of our teacher think we are going to cheat so we are getting projects for our finals. From my parents seeing me only in my room to my friends and I ranting about every teacher we have. School was always going to be annoying for us. But I still have to focus even with my classes being pass, fail due to the stay at home order. School was going to have to continue at home and students were now going to have to be in awkward zoom calls with their teachers. For me, projects have been crazy as they are all online and we have to keep everything in a certain way. School though has it’s up with finding out my history teacher is incredibly addicted to animal crossing. Online class can often have their mistakes which create hilarious moments and the often parent entering a students room. Online school was a major change for all of us, but it ended up not being the worst thing to happen so far. We are at least having some fun and kind of have some from of summer vacation and if anything we can have some time at home with our family. We also have time to develop and learn things that we wouldn’t normally learn in school. Allowing for us to improve upon ourselves in ways we never thought were possible and use this time efficiently during the stay at home order.