Drawing of Time, illustrated by junior Edith Naranjo

Time Waits for No One During the Pandemic

November 5, 2020

“Time is money” is a popular and accurate proverb that many people use. I don’t mean the part about how much a person earns for an hour of work or how time is equivalent to earning. I mean that time is precious and becomes more and more so as one gets older.

As I get older and farther along in my school career, I am beginning to grasp just how true this statement is, especially in these times that we spend at home during COVID-19.

It really feels like there is less time to do things lately, so it’s important to make sure I’m using my time correctly, in a way I won’t regret. Personally, I feel a big change in workload transitioning from sophomore to junior year. I’m grateful for my teacher’s support and flexibility in these times, but still, adjusting to this abnormal situation and the heavier workload has been interesting to say the least.

The COVID-19 shutdown began in March. Imagine — we all believed the situation would improve in two to three weeks! Yet, here we are, still at home, seven months later.

Since school started with distance learning, it feels as if time has been moving faster. Yet at the same time, every day feels the same as the last. I feel myself just trying to survive through the day … the week … the month …. 

At first, when quarantine started, I felt excited. Finally, I would have more time to draw, play video games and just hang out with myself. Lately, though, this is the exact opposite of what I have actually been doing.

Now, I find myself distracted by the smallest things. If I hear even the tiniest noise coming from downstairs, I feel compelled to go see what is happening. For example, my younger brother likes to watch movies and listen to music. Considering how much I like blasting music too, I completely understand. However, while I’m taking a test and listening to the Ben 10 opening for the 12th time in a row, it becomes way too much and I can’t focus in class or on my schoolwork.

I spend way more time than I need to on my homework and studying, leaving me with little to no free time, if I want to go to sleep at a reasonable time, that is. Before COVID-19, homework would take me two-three hours, now it’s taking me about five hours. And it’s not like I can go to a library or cafe, away from my house and my room in order to focus better on my work. 

I also know that my family would prefer that I spend more than just an hour or two  with them each day, but given how long I need for my homework, I have to start by no later than 7 p.m. When I was living in the Eastside dorm, I created this association of rest and relaxation with my house. A weekend at home meant sleeping in until 11, not having to worry about homework because I finished it at school on Friday, visiting my grandparents. Having to forget about that and turn my safe space into a work space where the clock never seems to stop ticking — that has been hard.

Time is precious. Deciding how I want to spend mine will be a choice I’ll continue making for the rest of my life. I guess I can try to view this COVID-19 time as an opportunity to improve my time-management skills and prepare myself for college, where no one will be telling me how to spend that precious resource.

I’ve been working with friends to devise a plan for finishing our homework together on Zoom after classes. Every second counts lately, and even though we get distracted sometimes, working on homework with others has really helped me reduce my stress and finish earlier than I was able to before. I’d like to think I have taken my first step in adapting to this stressful situation, and that what I learn about cherishing time today will help me succeed tomorrow as well. 

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