Navigating the New Normal

Navigating+the+New+Normal

Daniel Lubliner, Reporter, Page Editor

As long as the coronavirus continues to run rampant around the world, social distancing will continue to define our lives. Initially, I was optimistic –– I figured online school would be a nice change of pace. Free from the academic pressure of “IRL” school, I figured I would be able to enjoy the minimal stress of a credit-no credit grading system. Free from the confines of my block schedule, I figured I would be able to better incorporate my education into my everyday life. Free from the structure of my ordinary life, I realized I have no clue what I like to do outside of the busy life I normally lead. 

First and foremost, to be able to say that the biggest loss I’ve felt since the advent of distance learning is that of my normal life fading away is something I am incredibly grateful for. Anyone with the privilege of not needing to work right now to support their family or heal the sick should feel rudderless, or else be proactively working to not feel that way. Continuing to live the way we all did two months ago at the expense of public health is incredibly selfish. Rather than hold onto our old lifestyles, we should strive to know and define ourselves outside of the context of our normal routines, social lives, and school. 

For me personally, transitioning to distance learning has not been easy. Despite this, I’ve found new things to enjoy about living life outside of school. For one thing, I enjoy being able to walk whenever I want. Morning walks? Absolutely. Afternoon walks? You bet. Evening walks? Definitely. Taking a break from AP preparation to aimlessly wander the trails near my house, breathe the fresh air, and get out of the house helps me focus better when I return to my studies. As a person who thrives under a structured routine, I’ve found that blocking out my day and establishing a to-do list affords me a degree of normalcy. 

Distance learning is hard. It’s hard not to see your friends in person every day. It’s hard to navigate the transition from a life defined by pressure to one with very few standards. It’s hard to see your plans for the spring, summer, and fall crumble. Despite this, we need to remember that it’s significantly harder to support your family, be a medical professional at this time, or experience the loss of a loved one. As hard as adjusting to the boredom and monotony of distance learning is, we should strive to remember that this will not last forever. Life, in whatever degree of normalcy it exists in after this transformative era, will go on, and we should all be doing our part to ensure that it does so as soon as possible.