Finding Sense of Self Through Social Distancing


Isabella Ernsberger, Reporter

On Tuesday, March 17th, the halls of John Adams High School were vacant. Students and faculty were at home, assuming that staying home would be their only plan for the next two weeks. On April 2nd, Governor Holcomb announced that all Indiana, K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the semester. With that announcement, there came a ton of unknown, sadness, and a lot more free time. As for me, the first couple weeks of this time-off was spent binge-watching Netflix, starting shows and ending them, and overall just basking in the fact that nothing was required of me and that my life was at a standstill. 

I’ve always considered myself to be close with my family; to my surprise, it took a pandemic to realize that I was nowhere near as close to them as I thought. A majority of my days are spent alongside my sister; she has the best humor, and she’s only eleven. She’s insane. My brother’s been home from Chicago this whole time, so it’s been really refreshing to be able to spend time with him and make fun of him. I witnessed my mom alone in the kitchen, with her head on the counter, blasting Les Mis from the Alexa and singing with her eyes closed. To top it all off, she had a glass of wine beside her. To top it all off, yet again, I do, indeed, have video of that whole experience. Gotta love her. My dad is the best, he keeps up with my sister and I, and he bought me a smoothie yesterday, bless him. There’s nobody else I’d rather be quarantined with. As for myself, I’ve started diving into a lot of things I’ve always wanted to do. I started posting clothes to sell on my Depop, I’ve leaned into my baking senses and made banana bread twice and a cake once, I’ve been trying to stay on top of my assignments, I decorated a wall in my room with photos of my friends and I, and I’ve just been focused on myself and my happiness. I’ve wanted to do all these things for the longest time, and I’m happy that I finally have enough time to do it.

There were multiple events and experiences I was looking forward to during the Spring semester. Especially prom. I was so excited to experience prom with my best friends, half of whom are seniors who I won’t be able to go with next year. The thought of that not happening honestly makes me very sad, since it was something I spent all year looking forward to. Being away from my normal everyday routine and interactions for so long has made me realize the impact my teachers and friends have had on my life. It hurts being away from people that you love for so long. Along with realizing the impact school has on my life, I’ve also recognized that I’m a week away from Senior year, and that’s a daunting thought. Junior year has been the best year of high school so far. To have it end like this is super untimely and hurtful, but I have to believe it happened for some kind of reason. On the brightside, though, my grades are probably doing way better than they would’ve if we were still in school. So, that’s cool…I guess.

I’m excited to move forward from this experience. I’ve considered this a reset, and I think, as crazy as it sounds, my life has been enriched by this experience. Through spending so much time with myself, I finally have a sense of who I am. Not saying I didn’t before, but it’s very easy to lose sight of yourself when your days consist of stress, exhaustion, deadlines, and work. And I believe that, as I move on to a new normal, the lessons I’ve learned and things I’ve experienced within myself and the people around me, will always be carried with me. 

I’m excited to get back to normal as much as the next person, but I’m also enjoying the experience of just being. Not missing out on anything, not having to worry about running late, and time finally not being of the essence. My focus right now is growth and discovering myself. That way, when life comes back around, I’m ready to greet it with open arms.