IN This Together: A High School Senior Reflects on Social Distancing
Written by: Dawson Eastes
Everything was going great. My high school basketball team had just won our second consecutive Sectional Championship and the excitement of the team going into the Regional was electric. That week of practice was so intense and competitive since we knew we had a tough challenge ahead in the Lawrence North Wildcats. By Thursday, we had our game plan set in place and were fine-tuning our skills in preparation for Saturday.
Then, the excitement turned into heartbreak. At the end of practice that day, Coach brought us all together to tell us school had been canceled for the rest of the week and by the next day, news broke out that the basketball state tournament would be postponed. The uncertainty of not knowing whether I would get to play high school basketball ever again was looming in my mind.
Although the news of school and my basketball season being postponed was a hard pill to swallow, I knew that safety and well-being of the public was much more important than these things. I was thankful to live in a world where people care about the health of others and are willing to put the world on halt in order to take care of people.
Holding Out Hope
Although the world was starting to turn crazy, my family and I were trying to hold out hope for as long as possible. There was a chance many of the things that had been postponed could return such as school, sports, and everyday normal things. We also had a spring break trip scheduled, so there were still many things to look forward to. At this point, I was still thinking that I would finish off my senior year at school, get to finish my high school basketball career, and participate in end of school activities that every senior looks forward to like prom, senior-exit interviews, graduation and many more.
Then one day, I was sitting outside with my mom on a beautiful day when we received the news that school would be canceled for the rest of the year. I didn’t know what to feel. All the memories of my twelve years of school came flooding to my mind and I realized I would be moving on from high school a little earlier than expected. It was a tough moment, but I soon realized that although I wouldn’t get the chance to experience the end of high school, this was the best decision for the well-being of people. It was time to reflect for a little bit, and then move on to the next chapter of my life.
A New Normal
Since the news of the statewide quarantine, a lot of things have changed in my life. Without school, sports, or seeing other people, a lot of adjustments had to be made. I really miss the school environment, seeing teachers in the hallway, seeing my friends, playing sports, etc.
However, I’ve tried to stay positive and find new ways to keep busy during these tough times. I got a job working on pools with my dad (a great social distancing job), started spending a lot more time with my mom when I was home, and picked up my guitar more than usual. I got a chance to virtually read a children’s book to a kindergarten class at Sugar Creek Elementary.
I’ve also gotten a lot closer with my sister and have shared a lot of laughs with her. I’ve found that this was a great opportunity to spend the most time with my family as I could before I started living on my own at college. I’m trying to convince myself that all this new time on my hands is a blessing in disguise and I should take advantage of the time with my family while I can.
Hope for the Future
I am hoping for some good news. I hope in the coming weeks or months that this virus is controlled and life will return to somewhat normalcy. I am hoping to see my friends again soon, be able to leave the house, and even just go out to eat with my family. I’m looking forward to the small things like driving, going to the movie theater, and seeing my Nana again.
The biggest thing that keeps my hope alive is my excitement for college. I am excited to start the next part of my life and am counting down the days until I get to start college life. These are the things that are keeping me going and distracting me from the sadness that is social distancing. Staying positive and having a strong mindset is the only way to keep life happy and fun in these times and I am trying my best to do so.
This is only one point of view in this story. Dawson’s mom also documented her experiences with social distancing. Read her reflection here.