Getting Used to a Schedule During the Pandemic



What are you doing in quarantine? Original illustration by junior art major Coralis Rivera.

Self-isolation and social distancing during the pandemic has given teens across the nation the opportunity to fully realize the potential of organizing a schedule and how hard is can be to construct.

The problem is, we haven’t been trained to construct our own schedule outside of the pre-existing school day. Assignments when school was in session were given to students with the belief that the student will carve out time to complete the review of the material discussed in class, at home.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the decision to close NYC public schools, which started Monday, March 16,  has deeply affected how teens are structuring their daily lives. The school day has surprisingly all become “homework.”

As a whole, teachers, parents and students are safer and more protected from the deadly virus in quarantine. But now that we are safe, what are the next steps to restoring the order the school day brought to millions of student’s lives?

As a New York City public school student, waking up early to get ready has become a ritual that combines discipline, consistency and efficiency to arrive at one’s well known learning environment.

Eliminating the aspect of one’s morning commute, the permanence of a designated educating room, and the presence of a teacher, completely changes the concept of school.

Adapting to the situation at hand, NYC schools will now be digital-posting assignments that require students to apply their class skills to respond to the situation at hand.

In this week of confusion and uncertainty, I have found myself reaching out to my peers in search for how to restore the order that the school day once had.

This week’s transition between real life learning and the establishment of an online school day schedule has felt like purgatory. Seeing the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts’ (FSSA) spring Musical, Hairspray, get cancelled, watching as all my friend’s Proms and Graduations get postponed (or completely cancelled) and witnessing institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art close their doors, has been heartbreaking. Time doesn’t feel like it can be allocated to any task – moments blurring into one another until the early morning has transformed into the late night.

It isn’t all bad though. The quarantine is helping not only limit the spread of COVID-19, but it is in a way, rejuvenating the earth, giving it time to breath with the lack of human assembly.

Students staying home with their parents or care-takers has given most of the world a common experience, a sense of importance in protecting the human race. The order that the traditional school day’s classes and scheduling used to provide will return soon. Time until then will be reckless and free, the end of this transitional period feeling like the end of a long summer break… just without the leaving your house part.

– by Coralis Rivera ’21