Return to a New Normalcy


Coming back from a long summer is hard. Mrs. Ryals, teacher of Psychology, says it’s because the neurotransmitters in our brain necessary for reading, learning, and writing, have been inactive for an extended period of time. I think it’s because we got so used to an absence of routine and now returning is difficult because we’ve all been self-dictating our schedules for so long that we don’t remember what it’s like to be told when we’re doing things. 

Following a schedule isn’t necessarily the hard part, it’s giving up the freedoms we’ve grown accustomed to. It’s asking to go to the bathroom instead of going. It’s having an hour to eat in a day instead of snacking all day long. Quarantine gave us a feeling of independence as we all stayed apart in our homes; no alarms were set and few commitments were made. For example, I’ve been going to church since I was born, with the only exception being if I was sick or the weather was dangerous. Suddenly the event serving as the staple for the beginning of a new week was no longer there, and time began to flow together. It felt like we hit “pause” for five months. 

Coming back to school and routine is hard, but I think the really hard part was the unschooling process we went through during quarantine. Unschooling is usually a term used in the homeschooling community, defined as a method of learning through living rather than conventional schooling. It was a reality check from our lives, and I don’t think one person came out of quarantine the same as when they went in. We have all gained a deeper understanding of ourselves, as well as our health, and spent quality time with our families and alone without the stress of daily life.