Coping with Coronavirus: Why Must I Be a Teenager in Isolation?

High school senior Benet Rowland says it’s tough to master complicated concepts like Pre-calculus while looking at a computer screen instead of sitting in a classroom. Photo: Benet Rowland

Since coronavirus closings forced schools to switch to online learning from classroom learning, things have gotten pretty overwhelming for students like me all across the U.S.  

I’m a high school senior who also takes a Criminal Justice class at Monroe College, in New Rochelle, which is using online instruction as well.  

High school teachers have been stacking assignment after assignment, trying to help us learn what we would’ve gone over if we were in school. It’s understandable, but can also be stressful. 

I have put in extra hours, and I get help with advanced classes such as Pre-calculus. It’s tough grasping some of the new concepts we’re learning online, especially when you’re trying to get used at the same time to learning on your computer.  


Math is not everyone’s favorite subject, but I really enjoy it. I feel a sense of accomplishment in learning something new like calculating compound interest problems and arriving at the right answer.  

With classes going online, we get easily distracted … the attention span for people my age is close to none’  Learning is something I value very much, but now that I’ve had to go from the classroom to the computer, learning new material has been less fun, and more difficult. 

Another change that is hard for me is engaging in and visualizing new material. The attention span for people my age is close to none, and sometimes the only way we can retain new information is by hearing someone teach it to us while we’re sitting in front of  them. With classes going online, we get easily distracted, and tend to stray away from the task at hand.  

It’s been just as hard for teachers who are teaching online for the first time, trying to figure this whole thing out as well, so it’s understandable that things have become very complicated.  


Our social lives also have been altered by the coronavirus. With government officials and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] strongly recommending social distancing of at least six feet between persons, many of us have been stuck in our rooms since the day schools shut down.  

Sure, there are applications such as FaceTime and Skype that we can use to talk with our friends, but those apps are just no substitute for in-person interaction.  

As seniors, we may never see another day that we can spend learning and laughing if the virus prevents schools from re-opening. I sit in my room wondering if I’m going to be able to go to prom and spend some of my last high school moments with my friends, or be able to walk on stage to accept my diploma, signaling the end of a crazy, amazing four-year journey in my life.  


I also feel bad for the seniors who were going to play spring sports, only to have the season, with its exciting tournaments, stripped away. 

Nothing about this is fun, but if we want the virus to stop spreading so rapidly, if we want things to go back to normal as soon as they can, then we have to abide by the regulations our  government is enforcing.  

As students, we must continue to push on with completing our assignments, attempting our hardest to learn online and stay home as much as we possibly can.  

If we make these efforts, along with abiding by the state’s and the CDC’s rules and recommendations, maybe we can finally hang out with our friends outside once again.  

For now, let’s all do what we can to push on as we make the best of this situation. 

Benet Rowland is a senior at Peekskill High School.


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About the Author: Benet Rowland