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  • Writer's pictureThe Spartan Press

Coming Back To School During Covid

By Alisson Vasquez ‘24 and Layla Ulloa ‘24

Photo from @icacristoreyacademy

Coming back to school after a year of quarantine has been difficult and hard to adjust to for everyone. Let’s see how our sophomore class officer, Alycia Azucena, has adjusted to our new everyday life.

I know it has been a year since we were present on campus, but we are back. Tell us how you feel about being back?

Being back on campus has been a little surreal seeing everyone because during online classes we would turn off our cameras, so now seeing everyone is a little overwhelming. But it's really fun because you can get to know them more and their personalities.

I know that some of us woke up seconds or minutes before joining online classes (I know because I would do this often). Tell us how you are adjusting to your new routine of being here on time?

During online classes, I would wake up an hour before, but now I have to wake up like at 5 AM or 4:30-ish AM and be ready by 6 AM, so I can leave. And it hit really hard during the first week, and right now, I’m still really tired and adjusting. I think that as time goes on more, I can wake up more easily because right now it is just so hard to get up.

I know that back then there was time to read more, maybe hang out with friends a lot more often, and maybe even be on our phones. Tell us, how are you adjusting? Do you have the same time as before or has it changed?

During online school, I read like 2 books a week, and now, I haven’t had time to read a book since July! Now, my whole schedule is full of school work, homework, and I haven't been able to hang out with friends. Going on my phone makes me mad because everytime I’m on my phone, I lose time instead of doing my homework and working through deadlines and everything. So, I’m really over packed, and I don’t really have time to do anything.

Do you like being in online classes or present?

In the beginning, I loved present classes, but now, I’m kind of 50/50 because during online classes I had more time to do extracurricular stuff like reading, playing my violin, and hanging out with friends. Now, it is just straight school work and I cut a lot of stuff off. I’m trying to make school my main focus. I’m kind of missing online classes, but I love present school at the same time because you get to be with your friends and doing online classes is kind of lonely.

Tell us, what is something that you enjoyed during online classes?

I really liked going at my own pace because things were due later, and I had more time after school, like you could start your homework immediately, sitting on your couch, eating while we were on zoom. .

Being a very busy person, is there anything specific you do to manage all your time and extracurricular activities?

I’m pretty messy with my schedule, but I use a planner I bought. I make sure to do stuff closer to the deadline and the easy things first and after, the things that are more difficult. Trying to figure everything out, I go to bed around 1 AM just finishing homework. I try to get all my stuff done ahead of time and during lunch I constantly have to go to meetings and plan ahead of time to get my stuff done. If I don't get my stuff done I can’t do my next thing. It's hard for me sometimes to manage everything, so I like to take deep breaths and make sure I'm okay.

Speaking of which, whenever you get overwhelmed by things, what do you recommend doing?

Hot showers, or anything like self care, reading a few pages of a book, listening to music, looking for a snack, or going for a walk.

Do you have any tips for anyone trying to balance school work, extracurricular activities and a social life?

Know your limits. I,myself, signed up for more than I could handle, and now, I'm stuck trying to juggle everything. If you sign up for anything, just check in with yourself if that is the right thing for you, preplan everything and just think it over and don't overwork yourself.

What's most helpful to you when planning out your things?

I have a whiteboard at home and write a to-do list on it. I also use my notes app and write a lot of lists, or I use my planner just to know what stuff to do or to check in with my teachers.

How do you keep track of your lists and planners?

I always have them on me and make sure I can always see them. Or reminders on your phone might work. For those people for whom a planner didn't work, I'd say experiment with different things. Sometimes I forget my planner, so I use my reminders. Or sometimes I tell my friends to remind me. Keep tabs on yourself and have friends keep tabs on you. Others around you can be a really big help.

Since we talked about music, what would be the music that helps you study the most?

Chill music, lo-fi, or classical music, just music without words. Or the people that don’t like music, I recommend maybe chill music, music with beats, relaxing music, or coffee house music. Experiment and figure out what works for us.

“Always try your hardest and don’t let anyone bring you down; be you.”

By Alycia Azucena


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