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Life in Disarray


Students at different levels of their academic journeys faced a variety of challenges during the pandemic era. Throughout the peak of Covid the overarching fear and tension of losing loved ones spread through most families. Two seniors, Rohan Shah and Saransh Mishra reflect how each one of them felt and responded to the disarray of the pandemic years.


Q: What age and grade level were you at when Covid hit?

Shah: It started in eighth grade so we were 14 and 13.

Mishra: So, eighth grade second semester was completed virtually and so was freshman year. 


Q: How was your general experience in quarantine?

Mishra: I felt lazy. School wasn’t my priority a lot of the time and there was a lot of sitting down. I barely walked during that time.

Shah: I still did want to maintain my grades but it was a lot easier which left me with a lot of free time. I hung out with some of my family friends a lot. Even though there was Covid, we were very, very close and our parents were very, very close as well so it was safe. I was able to get a lot closer with them.


Q: How did you adjust your daily life or habits?

Shah: I used to be able to wake up at 6:45 [before Covid] and now I struggle to wake up at 7:40. I picked up the attitude of ‘do what you need to do’ vs. ‘strive high’. 

Mishra: The will to do work and motivation dropped.


Q: How much effort did you put into your classes during distance learning?

Mishra: My grades were terrible, because I didn’t put any work in.

Shah: For me, it was less that I didn’t put work in rather I put effort into finding ways to get around studying.


Q: What would you have done differently then if you could go back?

Mishra: I’d put work ethic first and a lot to do with physical fitness. Be more healthy. I was affected a lot by not moving much, not exercising much. 


Q: Did you find comfort in any people or hobbies?

Shah: My comfort was in hanging out with that group of people. We would make up games to play and have online sleepovers, it was nice […] Another thing for me was that I learned how to video edit. That affected me a lot because I started a club on it and did jobs on it, and I made money during Covid on it.

Mishra: For me, I discovered more things online, like TV shows and Youtube. I guess I found more types of entertainment because I was really bored.


Q: How did your social life change during quarantine?

Mishra: It was a big difference for me. Personally, I was pretty extroverted before Covid. I was really active with clubs and talking with people in general. However, that changed and I became very introverted. I’m in the middle now, still on the path to becoming an extrovert. 

Shah: I’ve always been an extrovert but middle school wasn’t my best time so it was a new experience coming to Tino after Covid?


Q: How did you cope with the stress and lack of interactions during Covid? 

Mishra: Well for me it was mainly discord calls. I was probably on discord for at least eight hours a day, every day, and six of those hours were on call, so that was how I ‘interacted’. 


Q: Did you learn anything new about yourself and what you can handle?

Mishra: I learned that I’m very easily distracted when I have the resources available.

Shah: I learned that I can be good at figuring out easier solutions to problems which can be good or bad. 


Q: What was the most challenging part for you? 

Shah: Probably the fact that at the end of the day, no matter what, you were just stuck at home doing nothing. Regardless of how many friends you meet, it was so different. I didn’t hate the online learning period and I don’t think [Mishra] did too, it wasn’t too difficult it was just different. It was the isolation.

Mishra: I would agree with that.


Q: What was your emotional state during that time?

Mishra: I was definitely worried, especially with my family in India […] It became a huge thing in India with oxygen shortages so I was definitely worried about my family a lot.

Shah: I would have to agree. I was less worried about my family here, it was in phases because my whole family had it when I didn’t have it. But, some of my family in India already have health problems and so if one of them got it they all would have gotten it. That’s what I was worried for the most.

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Ira Lele
Ira Lele, Writer

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