By Soraya Page

The first lockdown was a bit of a shock to me. In the beginning I was happy about it because I didn’t have to go to school, but then I realized that there wasn’t much to do. Everything was shut down: the park; stores and malls. I couldn’t even go to visit my cousins and friends. 

It was hard for me. I was cooped up in my house for months only allowed to see the three other family members who live with me. My sister and I got into arguments regularly and online school wasn’t much fun.

I found that being at home and not being able to go anywhere sucked up all my energy and I was not motivated to do anything, which caused me to fall behind in school. 

Last year was supposed to be my graduating year at Charlottetown J.P.S. and all the Grade 6 students were planning to have a graduation together, but none of that happened. My friends and I were very disappointed about that. 

In the summer, COVID was still a big thing but some restrictions were lifted and we were able to see a few other people and bubble with them. Naturally, for my family, we joined with my aunt, uncle and cousins who live close to us. We used to see them all the time. And since it was summer, we also had meetings with friends outside. I think seeing all of them made me happy, boosted me and gave me creativity. I really tapped into the author in me and started writing my own book that I hope to someday publish.

I was even happier when it was announced that schools would be reopening, and I would have friends in the same class. 

Prior to COVID, we had a babysitter who was in Grade 12 at the time. She told me a bit about how Joseph Howe worked and her experience there, which made me excited and a little nervous. But being in the school is not at all what she had described. We no longer transition between classes, the cafeteria is closed, and we don’t have lockers. This was definitely a letdown for me and my friends because we were really excited for lockers and they’re no longer allowed. 

In addition, because of COVID there were new rules like wearing masks every day, using hand sanitizer every time you enter and exit the building, and staying six feet apart. These rules I can understand and follow, even though some kids in my class don’t.  

Now I’m back at school after yet another round of online classes. I’m definitely looking forward to when this whole pandemic is over and we can move on with our lives, but not forget this life-changing experience.