Updated: May 22
Enjoy the second round of journal entries from our very own staff, giving an closer look into the life of a self-isolated teenager.
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Things I’ve Learned During Quarantine
I’m not an introvert, I’m just lazy.
There must be a higher power after all, because I think it heard us complaining about senioritis and said, “wanna bet?”
Apparently, the best way to fight pollution is just to stay inside, streaming Neil deGrasse Tyson, indefinitely. Who knew you could fight the death of the planet with apathy? (Not me. I couldn’t care less.)*
Racial profiling is cured! When I go on walks, people cross the street to avoid me, a white female. Progress!
My room has never been actually mine. My dog has dibs on the day shift, and I’m just the deadbeat who crashes there.
Breakfast tastes better when it’s dinner.
People can tell if you’ve washed your hair, even through zoom.
Time is not linear. It is butter. By similar logic, school is a freezer, my house is a microwave, and I am very, very unproductive.
“I’M SO NERVOUS,” Edgar screamed through the phone
“We’ll get in guys don’t worry.” Miguel kept a surprisingly calm voice.
“Knock on wood RIGHT NOW MIGUEL”
The clock hit 5. I refreshed my page. I saw my status “Nope. Rejected.”
Edgar’s voice exploded. “I GOT IN”
“I GOT INTO BERKELY”
And from this chaotic and joyous call, it hit me all at once... how different my friends’ college lives are going to be from mine. Edgar’s narrowed it down to two schools. Same with Miguel. And where are they? Miles away of course. It hits me how much I’m going to miss them because even now in isolation, being away from them already hurts.
I’ve never really thought about my future the way I have this week. I always found it hard to think about life beyond high school. Probably because starting senior year, I was immensely scared of change. But just a few nights ago sitting at the dinner table. “Senior year was one of the best years of my life,” says my sister at the dinner table. “It really sucks what’s happening to you guys..” I sit there and think, Wow I actually haven’t thought about it much, only because I know I don’t want to. I’d rather not think about how what’s supposed to kinda be my rite of passage to adulthood is spent in a room. I’d rather not think about how one of the biggest fears of was not being able to make memories with friends that I might not see in person for God knows how long. So I’d just spend my free week just watching YouTube. Sit next to the window, drink tea, and watch Conan Gray videos for hours. But even in isolation, I have to think about it eventually.
Suddenly, I know where I’m going to college. USC replied. Rejected (Expected). UCLA replied. Rejected (Expected, but I’ve had dreams about that place, so it kinda stung) So, the one that had always been my favorite, CSUN takes the cake. And now suddenly, the future is shoved in my face. I wish I had done more scholarships. I wish I had worked harder to get my license by now.
Anxiety aside, I could not be more proud of my friends. While searching through photos of the past year looking for photos for our scrapbook, “Our Adventure Book,” I’m realizing how much impact they’ve had in my life, while working incredibly hard on their own future. They deserve every amazing school out there and I know they’re going to literally change the world. I’m still trying to piece together my future, but at least self-isolation has taught me that even when we’re apart, they’ll always be there. So tune in next time to where I watch the last episode of the Avatar: The Last Airbender and find out if Katara’s going to go to with Aang, or the obvious hot choice.
By week two of the quarantine, my brain already feels like sludge. I can’t write, I can’t think, and I can’t even watch anything that even kind of provokes thought. Hence, I will be sharing five songs that I have been listening to during the quarantine (besides my dad snoring on the couch next to me).
Tokyo Drifting, Glass Animals: Hopefully this song heralds the arrival of a new Glass Animals album in the near future! It’s certainly about time. This song was tied for their quarantine cover of Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box, one of my favorite bands covering one of my favorite songs (honorable mention, but not an official cover, unfortunately). This song features Denzel Curry and has the slow, electronic groove that Glass Animals does so well.
My Iron Lung, Radiohead: This song is classic and somehow feels appropriate for the times. Its soulful desperation and longing captivates me on every listen.
Caroline, Aminé: I have good memories associated with this song! It’s a really fun song, upbeat, and it brings me joy.
Oh No, The Mothers of Invention: I stumbled across this song by accident, whilst looking for the song Oh, Ana by Mother Mother. It’s weird, but I can’t stop listening to it.
Wyclef Jean, Young Thug: An old Thugger song, but a good one. I went crazy and made a four hour Young Thug playlist, and upon listening discovered that this song is still my favorite. His vocals and ad-libs are what make this song slap so hard.
As you can see, my music taste is a little all over the place, but this was the best I could do for this week. Well, that’s it for now. Tune in next week, where I order marbles, just to lose them. Bye!
Two weeks ago, it felt like the world had turned upside down.
I wasn’t all that upset about online school, honestly. While it was a weird adjustment, it was tolerable and I’ve kind of learned to like working from home. It was more that everything I had been looking forward to for the next few months was suddenly gone. The Renaissance Faire, the school musical, I was even planning a trip to Disneyland on the day that they announced it would be shutting down–which hurt. It seemed like a weird sort of constant in my life, and it was suddenly gone indefinitely. In fact, all of the constants among the craziness of spring semester were suddenly gone.
I was left with one last thing to look forward to, and I realize now that it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was set to release on March 20, 2020, which was also notably international happiness day.
Animal Crossing was first released for the Nintendo 64 in 2001. The three titles that followed, Wild World, City Folk, and New Leaf, respectively, have all sort of followed the same premise of making your way in the world in a little town with your animal friends– decorating your house, buying cute clothes, and paying off your crippling debt to a raccoon.
My first Animal Crossing game was New Leaf, which I started playing when I was eleven, I believe. I fell in love with the game almost instantly. It gave me a sort of sense of agency in a time when I was pretty much just confined to the world of elementary school. I got to be the mayor of my very own town, trying to get the cutest villagers, catch the rarest bug, expand to the biggest house, and dress my character to the nines. I played with my friends, and even when we didn’t go to school together anymore we could connect over the little world of Animal Crossing. I had a strong sense of pride for the town of Arendel (which I admittedly named over my embarrassing obsession with Frozen).
So I was inevitably excited for New Horizons, even before the quarantine was a thought. Little had I known at the time, the sense of creativity, agency, and even normalcy that Animal Crossing has always given me was just what I’ve been needing in a time where it feels so easy to just slip into a pit of desolation. As I’m a person of routine, I find it soothing to launch the game each morning, check the shops, pick my fruit trees, say hello to my villagers, and water all of my flowers. I can travel wherever I want– I go to my friends’ islands, as social distancing isn’t a concern on the Nintendo Switch. Being outside and immersing yourself in the world is really all you can do in New Horizons, as creating a functioning city from a deserted island is no easy endeavor.
While I may feel like we’re in the middle of the apocalypse, I can hold the essence of calamity and friendliness in my hands. I can’t help but recommend this game to everyone I talk to–it’s an outlet that’s been keeping me sane, although somewhat ironically because I now spend most of my time talking to my villagers, buying clothes from a hedgehog, and selling an inventory full of tarantulas to Tom Nook’s two nephews for hundreds of thousands of bells. Animal Crossing has always felt like a casual pass time, a game that’s there when you need some soothing music and smiling faces, but I didn’t used to understand the sort of freedom it could give me. I realize now that in a time of such turmoil and fear, you sometimes just have to look to New Horizons.