Diary of a Quarantined Student: Julie

As COVID-19 continues to spread, high schools and colleges around the world are closing, and students are staying home. Quarantining can feel isolating, but stories like these have the power to change that.    

Today’s blog is written by Julie Canete, a student at the online Cyber Academy of South Carolina and an elite karate competitor.  

Hi, I am Julie, and I am self-quarantined! I am a 15 years old teenager trying to put the pursuit of my dreams into perspective and learning to turn obstacles into opportunities. 

I am a senior at Cyber Academy of South Carolina. Even though I’m an online student and my classes were not suspended, things have changed since being quarantined. So here’s a quick look into my life. 

In addition to my online classes, I’m also dual enrolled at Greenville Technical College, but this week is Spring break! For this reason, every morning I wake up two hours later than usual and I eat breakfast with my sister and my mom. These are some of the benefits of being in quarantine! My dad leaves the house at 4 AM to work. We enjoy this time together and plan the special activities of the day. It is incredible how much extra time we have when we don’t go to our extracurricular activities!

Next, even when I can’t say I want to, I do my homework and study. I prefer to get most of my mandatory lessons out of the way before enjoying the rest of the day. This allows me to experience the accomplishment of responsibilities, and that makes me feel better, like there is no day wasted. Our lunch time is usually around 3 PM, that way the whole family is together. These days I am in charge of the menu. It is harder than I expected to decide what to cook and be sure it is nutritious and tasty. To be fair, every day the sugars are higher than they are supposed to be, but nobody is complaining yet and I received some good compliments! 

The rest of the afternoon, I train with my sister in our garage. We are both elite karate competitors and since we can’t train at the dojo, the best we can do is to try to stay fit — especially after all these desserts! 

It is important for me to have a schedule. However, I am open to change the plans if we are having fun with an activity, or to switch an activity if it is a bore.  Being flexible is a key to having a good day at home. This week so far, I finished a painting, played some board games that I didn’t even remember we had, improved my weightlifting and baked new things. 

Furthermore, every night, we are having a family movie time. I am not too excited about tonight’s movie because it is my youngest sister’s time to pick, but there is always tomorrow! 

Then, I have fun texting my friends. I know it is not the same as talking or interacting in person, but at the same time I am discovering new things about my friends because we have more time to listen to each other. 

Lastly, I know it is extremely important to reduce social and physical interactions for the well-being of our families, friends, and communities. Being quarantined is just a minimum sacrifice compared to many others who expose themselves daily to this virus to keep us safe, giving us the opportunity to enjoy our family. 

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