Stuck Together at TNS
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My first alarm goes off at 6:30 am; it’s my desperate attempt to prepare my brain for waking up an hour later. It hasn’t worked yet; but maybe tomorrow. Unsurprisingly when my 7:30 alarm goes off I think just like every other day, there is no reason that I need to get up. Subsequently I am filled with that moment of happiness to be able to return to the safety of my blanket, with the consequence of feeling unprepared for the rest of the day. One hour of blissful sleep later, my last resort alarm at 8:59. Initially I just hate whoever invented the infuriating nose coming from my speaker; then I feel a bit empty, already this small experience has reminded me of how vastly unoriginal today will be.
Defeated by time, I open my computer and am blinded by the light even though it is in dark mode and the brightness on the lowest setting. Blinking I type in the password, and click the link to the morning meeting. Thinking to myself there is no way I am getting out of bed yet, I turn off the camera and mute. Aiming the camera at the ceiling because I still don’t trust it, and think, I am listening, just closing my eyes to help me wake up…
Class next means camera on, so I grab a sweatshirt and pull it over the PJ’s I’m wearing. Now hair up or down? Down is riskier and I can’t control it, plus I slept with it down so my head isn’t sore from it being up all night. Up it is.
“LEIGH, LEIGH, LEIGHHHHH are you up?!”
I hate how my dad always calls up every day, even though I’ve told him that I set my own alarms.
“Yeah dad I’m up.”
I look at the clock, it’s 9:00 so I go and sit at my desk. Click the link to zoom: humanities since it’s Thursday.
10:55 am: I have a 3-hour break so I decide to make food. I already have a headache from my computer; I take a break and sit outside while I eat.
School’s done at 4:10. I lay in bed a bit. Not intending to, I end up dozing off to sleep. At 5:45 I get ready for soccer, and go I wait on the front porch for whoever is driving me today.
Mom pulls into the garage at 6:25. After two weeks of consistently arriving a few minutes late to practise and having to do laps for it, I realized if I leave at 6:30 I am usually 3-4 minutes late; if I leave at 6:25 I arrive 3 minutes early. Mathematically it makes no sense but I’ve learned to just go with it.
I get in the car, she says, “How was your day?”
I shrug, “okay, how was yours?’
“It was long.”
Then we sit in silence for the drive. I get dropped off at 6:45, it ends at 8:10. I see my car; dad is driving now.
“Hey how was your day?” he asks.
“It was okay, how was yours?”
“Long but alright.”
He fills the silence with NPR.
After I get home I decline dinner, I am never hungry after I run. I take a shower, do work I should have done during async, watch Netflix, do homework I should have done before practice.
12:02 am: I press submit on my finished math set. I should have done it earlier, but I didn’t. Instead of reliving all the other stuff I probably should have done today, I pull up youtube.
Next time I look at the clock it reads: 2:56 am. I close my computer, set alarms for tomorrow, and I stare at my ceiling. Days like this have turned into a suffocating loop eating away at a year of my life. There is so much I could be doing; I have time, but no motivation. For tonight I promise myself tomorrow will be different.
I go to sleep.
I have found that many of my peers and I have been struggling with our mental state throughout quarantine and online school. Through this semester, I have focused some of my learning around concepts of low motivation and procrastination and the feeling of every day being the same. During a personal narrative unit in Humanities, I focused my writing on communicating what my experience with online learning has been. Then when given the opportunity to do an interest-based social work unit in Projects, I grouped up with Ana Hoeferle and Naomi Shaw to try to see if I could help change some of the things I’m dealing with for my peers. We created a website based on giving information about preventing procrastination and creating a supportive place for students at TNS.
I’ve learned a lot about how to successfully create a project and see it through, along with skills like communicating with professionals in the field and building a website. The final part of our project was to spray paint our logo onto the Krog Street Tunnel, a nice rap up to our group project. Through the process of our project and writing my personal narrative, I have been able to understand more about why I am feeling so negative. This work has been important to me because the goal was to help at least one other student feel not as alone, and through the feedback I’ve gotten, I am proud to claim that it is a success.