Day #32: Friday, April 17, 2020

My socially distanced life is a double-edged sword

April 18, 2020

Staying inside all day isn’t really a new experience for me. It’s how I spend a lot of my summer break time, so adapting to the quarantine lifestyle hasn’t been anything earth-shattering. Most days, I’m waking up around 7:30 to 8:00 AM, but then I fall back asleep because I’m too dang tired from staying up late the night before. This is all because my body still thinks I have to force myself out of bed for school on weekdays. I’m pretty much always awake again before 11 AM, so I can sign in for daily attendance before I fall back asleep because I’m still drowsy. It’s only by the afternoon do I actually stay awake, and I may not even bother getting out of bed for another hour or two.

So yeah, quarantine has thrown my entire sleep cycle for a loop, but that always happens every summer anyways. The only difference now is it could affect me more than my health if I don’t bother getting up until 3:00 PM, since all my schoolwork is now homework to me, and I have a habit of getting a late start on homework. I will then typically go downstairs, take my dog for a short walk, have breakfast, and go back upstairs to play games or watch YouTube. Riveting, I know. I get around to schoolwork anytime between 7 PM and 9 PM, and after it’s all done, that means more time for the former two activities.

To go back to E-Learning, right now it just doesn’t feel like school to me. For others who maintain a healthy sleep schedule without the obligation of attending school in person, it’s probably been pretty fine. But I have almost no motivation to attend any Zoom meetings unless it’s expressed to me that they’re mandatory or at least critical for my class, mainly because my sleep schedule just doesn’t enable me to wake up for a class meeting that often, where I would probably only retain half of what I would learn if I was fully awake.

For some students, this model still offers them resources for them to learn and keep up with their studies. I just do not find this method as rewarding or engaging as the system we use outside of a time of pandemic, but maybe it’s just because I’m not used to it yet. I’ve had far more time to adapt to normal school life, so it’s only natural that this change would rattle me. Still, the consistency normal school affords is something E-Learning can’t match. An environment conducive to learning is something normal school provides much easier, and E-Learning just can’t deliver that for nearly as many people, which is probably my biggest gripe with it.

Enough about that stuff, this isn’t just going to be my complaints about E-Learning. Social distancing has offered some positives too. It’s given me plenty of time to play through “Persona 5 Royal,” which finally released in English on March 31st this year. The amount of time I’ve already put into the game is a little insane, considering this is an enhanced version of a game I already own and have invested an obscene amount of time with. I’m pretty sure I’m somewhere around 70 hours in, and I’m having a blast finding out everything new about the game and enjoying all the stuff that made the original amazing.

Even though I prefer single-player experiences, I’m still making an effort to spend time with my friends, even if I can’t see them in person. When “Persona 5 Royal” launched, I decided I would share my first session of gameplay with a couple of my friends who also very much enjoyed the original version. This was via Discord, a service that lets you chat with friends and countless other people online via text and calls, and it’s centered around gaming, but can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

A good friend of mine and I would often hang out at my house on Fridays after school, which is when we’d play some kind of game together. Even though that isn’t possible now, I can still talk with them over Discord and share my screen and sound with them while I play a game, so we both get to experience it together. I’ve also developed new interests in a few more games instead of sticking to series I already know, so quarantine has given me the opportunity to branch out.

I don’t think my socially distanced life has been significantly worse, but I’ve certainly fallen out of the balance that I used to keep when I was going to school normally. It kind of feels like the planet has stopped turning, in a way, or at least slowed its spin down a lot. Once the world can safely move on from COVID-19, I’ll have to start back up, too, so I can’t let this time of rest make me complacent. I’ll be graduating this year, and with college ahead of me, it only gets tougher for me from here on out. I just hope I can prepare myself for the future, even when time has seemingly stopped.

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