The Newspaper of Irvington High School

China – Kent Kong

When COVID began, frankly, I was happy that I didn’t need to go to school in person and could stay at home for a long time. But when I saw that the virus began to spread around the world that, I became scared of what might happen around the world.

In China, we had to follow very strict rules during lockdown. For example, in February, when the pandemic was very widespread in China, each family could only have one member go outside their neighborhood for things like groceries. If anyone else went, the neighborhood security would send you back home.

During quarantine, I had plenty of homework, but I also found time to watch the news and soccer on TV. My relationships with family didn’t really change (we were already close before lockdown), but sometimes I would play games with my friends. Most of the time, however, we had to study because we still had a lot of homework and tests with online school, especially since we are beginning to prepare for the Gaokao exam [the Chinese college entrance exam].

I’m taking the Gaokao in 2022, but we start preparing for the exams now. You get a choice of three subjects, so I’m taking classes for physics, chemistry, and biology this year. In China, many professions need physics and chemistry, so most people at our school chose those subjects. And since, at the moment, I want to become a doctor like my father, I chose biology to get an idea for what I’ll need to enter the medical field.

Beyond those classes, I also have art class and career-planning class this year, but it’s a lot of self-studying this year. I also have a robotics elective class. We do VEX and FTC, just like a lot of what you guys do, but I wasn’t good enough to make the competition teams, unfortunately. But I’m enjoying my biology and chemistry classes the most right now, since my physics isn’t that good, and the Chinese, math, English classes are kind of boring. In biology and chemistry, the teachers are really engaging, and the content is actually easier than other subjects. We also do experiments in there every month.

Right now, our school is in person, and we live in dorms after school and go home over the weekend. I actually enjoy being in person in dorms, since I get to talk with my friends after class. We get to talk about the news and gossip about things around school. School is definitely stressful at times, but it’s fun overall. Sharing knowledge with other classmates also gets me going every day.

In terms of the future, I’m starting to think about college now. I want to leave my hometown, but still be close enough so that I can come home during breaks easily. But I’ll have to study hard to get my choice of college. Right now, I’m looking at Fudan University in Shanghai, but I’m not sure if I’m good enough to get in, so I’ll have to study hard for the Gaokao if I want to go. For the rest of the world, I do wish COVID-19 would end really soon. It troubles me a lot, and I do wish we can go back to some sort of normal in the coming months.

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