Austria – Melina
I was really thrilled at first when we were told that school would be at home and happy to stay at home because we didn’t have to take exams online and only had homework to complete. Everything became much easier online because I had more time at home to catch up on homework and focus on studying. I was also happy because I could spend more time with my family and with myself. The online classes were much shorter than our classes at school, so I could wake up much later during the day and also have more free time for myself in the evening.
Quarantine has given me more time to work out and take care of myself. I picked up on these new habits when quarantine first started but as time went by I began to always feel tired and didn’t feel like going out for walks anymore. My sleeping schedule has changed a lot as well so I guess there has been a lot of changes in my life and habits. About my personality, nothing significant has changed but I can feel that I’m more anxious and depressed than before because I’m stuck at home all the time and I can’t see my friends anymore. I have been texting my friends more often now, and since I’m always at home there has also been a lot more fighting between my sister and me or my parents and me but we have gotten closer since we have the past year together at home. We do a lot of new things together like watching movies and sometimes we all like to cook dinner or bake dessert together at night.
I try to work out every day or do yoga and pilates for an hour a day in the mornings or after I complete all of my school work in the afternoon. I usually do Boho Beautiful’s Pilate online workouts. Sometimes I even do Zumba with my mom and sister. I’ve also watched a lot of TV-shows like Hannibal, Greys Anatomy, Dark, Dash and Lily, How to Get Away with Murder, etc. I spend a lot of time watching my favorite show, Greys Anatomy, with my friends and that helps. Sometimes we Facetime and watch a few episodes together so we can discuss everything that is happening.
I’m a new student at my school, so I have been worried that I would lose my connection with my classmates and friends but actually, I’ve gotten much closer to them. On occasion, I meet up with one of my friends at a park or any outdoor location to catch up and have some fun together. We sit apart and eat some snacks that we both packed and sometimes we bring a small board game to play to pass some time.
Here in Austria, we have online school every day besides weekends and we get tons of assignments to complete. In my opinion, it is a lot better than the in person school because we don’t have exams anymore and sometimes our first lesson starts at 9 and not 8 like in person school. Before however, we did not have online school. After the first wave hit Austria, we began hybrid learning so we would go to school for some days, but be online for the remaining days of the week. I prefer being fully online however because it is less stressful.
Learning has been tough at times, however, because it’s very hard for some teachers to teach through a computer and it is hard to understand them or ask questions when we are not in the classroom but some subjects are easy to understand. We also have revision every lesson but the good thing is that we don’t have to turn on our cameras so we can easily read from the book if we aren’t sure what the answer to a question is. There are many teachers that also give us a lot of homework every week and that’s sometimes overwhelming but fortunately there are also many good and understanding teachers that don’t pressure us as much.
I hope they find an effective vaccine for COVID and they will be able to distribute it to everyone soon so that everything goes back to normal. I’m afraid of the idea of the situation getting worse than it already is and that we will have to live like this for another year.