A Junior’s Perspective


Kaitlyn Tung, HOWM Editor

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York Schools will continue to be closed until April 29th. This declaration extends our current closure and extra two weeks. Although I admit a part of me felt relieved at the initial announcement of school closure a month ago, this feeling has now progressed into anxiety and resignation. 

As a junior in high school, this is my final year before college applications. This is the year of standardized testing, AP exams, and creating college shortlists. However, I feel that many of my opportunities have been curtailed. Nationwide, SAT exams have been cancelled in the months of March and May as have ACT exams. I am one of the lucky ones as I had taken my ACT in December and am satisfied with my score, but I still hoped to have the opportunity to take SAT subject tests in May. I know many of my peers planned to take the SAT for the first time in March. Now, all they can do is anxiously wait and hope further testing dates are not cancelled as well. In addition, being out of school has made me feel that my grades do not truly reflect my performance in my classes. Last quarter I had only taken one or two in class exams in some of my courses as schools closed, which is nothing close to the number of grades that should have been inputted. The coronavirus outbreak has only continued to pile on the high academic stress for juniors. 

Aside from academic worries, self isolation and social distancing has had a negative impact on my mental health. I wake up each morning to a day that has an unremarkable sameness as the one prior. There is news that says the same thing, except with higher numbers each hour, and online classes that are incomparable to the real thing. And this goes on: day after day after day. I look through my windows and look at the blue sky and imagine the warming spring weather, yet all I can do is watch. I feel trapped in my home, but I know that staying indoors and minimizing contact is a necessity. I am sixteen years old, but I can only see my friends through a phone screen. I have my family, but I feel isolated from my peers. I know the country is facing a crisis, but I feel helpless. All I can do is try to contribute to relief efforts and do my part and stay inside. But still, I feel that coronavirus has changed what it means to be a teenager in some of your last years of high school.