FSS Community Members Reflect on the Past Year

Miriam Rock

The pandemic systematically removed so much fun from our lives. We lost casual social interactions, meals at restaurants with friends and family, and the ability to move through the world without constant fear. As I have slowly been able to start adding fun back in, I have been struck by how much I appreciate it all. I now cherish being able to eat a picnic lunch with a vaccinated friend and not worry about whether we’re 6 or 8 or 10 feet apart. I’m able to hug my parents again. I can go for a run and not shy away from people as I pass. Someday, I might be able to high five students again! As we transition back into more normal life, I want to keep my appreciation for the little, ordinary elements of life that generate so much joy. 

Alessandra Yang

In the past, I haven’t had much (or any) time to hang out with friends outside of school. Because everything was virtual this year, I actually got closer to so many people that I didn’t really know too well before, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything (except maybe not having the pandemic, but I’m assuming that isn’t an option). Many of them will probably want to go back to in-person meetings, but I’m hoping that some will stay online so I can stay connected.

I learned a lot about how I work when I have my own time and can structure it as I please—it was helpful. I’m also not sure what this says about me, but I realized how well I did in quarantine compared to some of my friends, unfortunately. 

I missed being in the school building, being able to have a normal class where you go up to the board, not having to “un-mute,” eating lunch with friends, etc. As a musician, going much of this time without being able to play with peers was difficult, though I found some time to rehearse with some friends which I think helped. 

I’m looking forward to being in the building again hopefully without masks and just being normal. Laughing in the hallways, working in the library, really anything!

Suzanne Morrison

It might be strange to say this, but I learned that I am happier with less choice in my life. Don’t get me wrong: choice is a great privilege, and I do value how much I, compared to many others, have. But, over the past year, I appreciated how the pandemic actually eliminated some of the choices in my life.  I didn’t have to decide whether to go to the gym or not; it was closed. I didn’t have to choose whether I would leave at 7 am to beat the commuting traffic or sit in that traffic to get another 10 minutes of sleep; I was teaching remotely and there was no commute. I didn’t have to choose whether I was going to visit my mom or visit my dad with my several free hours on Saturday; I couldn’t visit either. I didn’t have to choose what outfit to wear for school because I was behind a computer, neck up, for a lot of it. I didn’t have to choose between a walk or a faculty meeting; I could do both. I didn’t have to choose whether I wanted salted or unsalted butter, because the store was sold out of a lot of things, and I had to take what I could get and not get upset. The list goes on. Because I am a homebody and somewhat of an introvert and because I did not suffer sickness or loss of loved ones, there was a lot I liked about life during the pandemic; I liked the coziness of it, the “less is more” sort of feel to the year. Life was simpler, and paradoxically, I felt more grateful than ever. 

Margot Schneider

I think the most initially shocking aspect of the pandemic for me was having to restructure my day-to-day life with fewer things to do. Usually, when I have to learn to reallocate my time per week, it is because I am taking on a new project, joining another team, or something like that. I micromanage my hours until my days are practically full. The sudden disappearance of so many of the activities I loved gave me a lot of time to just sit with my thoughts, and I will admit, I absolutely hated it at first. Over time, though, I started picking up little habits or projects that I suddenly had the time for. I frequently organize my supplies or my room (and enjoy doing so), I sleep well, I drink a lot of water and make new recipes, and I started writing for The Falcon, to name a few. When my activities began to re-open and I started having a practice (or two) every day of the week, I learned that my new habits were things I didn’t really want to lose. They are little things that bring me joy that I probably wouldn’t have made an effort to do otherwise, and I have learned the value of bringing new routines into my life and finding ways to make it work.

Asher Frank

One thing I missed most about a normal year is the connection between people. When the pandemic started, I couldn’t finish my eighth grade year in school. Also starting at a new school online was different. Having to start online, then going into a hybrid mode, then back online, then to the choice of four days a week was chaotic for me. 

Patrick Ryan

I miss tea parties. I had a tea party in the Fall of 2019 and expected to hold more throughout the Spring of 2020. Not being able to spend time like that with friends was the greatest change introduced into my life because of the pandemic. I was fortunate that I experienced little hardship, but these major changes were still difficult. I had to come to terms that there was less to do in a given day, without the tasks and activities brought about by being in school, and I was grateful when we returned. I still hope to have more tea parties to dress up in fun clothes and spend time with friends. 

Jakob Miller

The distractions and loneliness of being in online school during a pandemic made me appreciate the little things that were previously part of my usual routine in regular, in-person school. Instead of being distracted by my phone or another device, the distractions were funny side conversations with my friends or a crazy noise from outside of the classroom. When you’re online you can’t collectively laugh at a funny moment in a class, but when you’re actually in school there’s no unmute button; you just all enjoy the moment. Talking to teachers when I walk through the halls or going to say hi before a class just didn’t happen when we were online. I’m looking forward to those small things next year, and when they happen I will appreciate them a lot more.