The lost year: Facing challenges

While many students’ experiences over quarantine have been relatively similar, it’s important to highlight more unique ones as well. The additional stress of having to be “at school” virtually while also trying to adjust into a new reality was incredibly challenging for the Washington community. Many students had to take on extra responsibilities at home, experienced mental health issues, lost loved ones to Covid-19, and more. Washington students Yasmin Samoy, Kavya Jolly, and Aansh Bali shared their personal experiences and challenges over the pandemic.

Aansh Bali

Aansh Bali in a black shirt with white lettering against the backdrop of a wooden wall, a bed, and a blue curtain.

Life before the pandemic was incredibly social for Washington senior Aansh Bali. Bali played for the Swim Team, ran the WHS Gaming Club, and saw friends regularly. However, the lockdown orders shook up his daily routine. “After March 13th, my friends and I kept in touch online, but I noticed that my social life and social skills came down to almost zero,” he said. When asked how he and his friends were affected, Bali said, “My friends also went through some changes. One of my good friends Kohl Turner moved away due to the pandemic and doesn’t attend WHS anymore. I also think a lot of them developed anti-social tendencies like me.”

Yasmin Samoy

Washington senior Yasmin Samoy had to battle the feeling of isolation, take on more responsibilities at home, and balance her school work. “Many things changed around me because of the pandemic. Like many others, I helped around the house more and spent more time watching my restless younger siblings,” said Samoy. When asked to describe what this felt like, Samoy said, “I didn’t have the energy to watch my brother. I couldn’t play with him when all I wanted to do was cry. I still did my chores but I avoided homework because I didn’t truly understand anything I was learning.” The pandemic also contributed to declines in many students’ home lives.

Yasmin Samoy and a sibling sit on a couch, watching television.

Kavya Jolly

Kavya Jolly in a cream-colored jacket and shirt, with brown-rimmed sunglasses, and an airpod.

Some students, like Washington sophomore Kavya Jolly, did not get to see their parents often due to the liability of them working in public places. Their dad was able to stay home, but their mom had to work in-person every day, which left Kavya anxiously worrying about their mother’s safety. “At the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t see her for 2-3 months. That was really painful to go through,” said Jolly. Constantly hearing about cases and deaths going up added to Kavya’s anxiety, and they went on to say that those moments were incredibly stressful and still affect them to this day.

Dana Mirghani is a senior at Washington High School. She was born in Sudan, grew up in Michigan, and is now living in Fremont. This is her first year at the Hatchet and she mainly enjoys writing about art, history, politics, and her opinions. Some of her hobbies include public speaking, acting, writing, and exploring new places. She plans to major in sociology and integrate that into an artistic career, perhaps filmmaking.

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