HomeMarchOne Year Removed…

One Year Removed…

There’s No Place Like Home

Published March 12, 2021

BY EMMA BROWN

When I was younger, my mother would return from parent-teacher conferences to report a complaint: I talked too much. I was the epitome of an extrovert, adoring the spotlight and basking in the rays of constant conversation. 

Nearly one year ago, the entirety of CHS gathered in close quarters for a fire drill. Today, that concept seems foreign. (photo by Emma Brown)

I now live in the shell of the extroverted girl I once was. I barely recognize the person I see in the mirror.

Prior to last March, I can say with certainty that if someone had asked any of my classmates to describe me, the terms loud or outgoing would have been the first uttered. Freshman year made no dent in my habitual loquaciousness.

That all changed my sophomore year. With my sister and mother going to in-person school all day since October, I sit in silence, aside from the background noise of my Zoom classes. I notice myself getting quieter and reserving myself from life. I tend to not raise my hand in class and frequently decline invitations of human interaction with no good reason to do so. 

Among my friends, I find that such a transition is common. Isolation has numbed the ways in which we interact. 

After one year of being in quarantine, I am content with my staying in my bubble of three friends. That’s me, second from left. (photo by Emma Brown)

The lasting effects of this metamorphosis begin to display themselves at center stage as our administrators and teachers begin to discuss the possibility of our lives being restored to their former glory. Returning to in-person school now seems like the worst form of punishment possible. Within the last few months, I have begun to settle in and develop a stricter routine for myself. I enjoy my solitude and have no desire to return to the classroom. 

Yet there will be a day when I have to go back. For many of my classmates, that will be a joyous day of celebration. For me, that day will be filled with fear.

The anxiety of returning to a world that I no longer fit in feels insurmountable. As I imagine the numerous situations that I once enjoyed–lunchtime, homecoming and sports practice–I am forced to reevaluate who I will become in those instances. I am fully aware that I am no longer capable of the great displays of conversation and liveliness that I once produced, thus I must reimagine all of the instances of what was once my daily life through the eyes of an introvert. 

As is becoming increasingly evident, the threat of in-person school is imminent, and my eventual return to what was once normal is encroaching on my sanctuary of silence. Again, I will be forced to adapt to the circumstances of my environment, this time undoing what has been done by COVID-19 and reverting back to the version of myself that my classmates know.

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