by Rachel Dunphey, 04/26/2020, Traverse City, MI

High School 9-12 Category

Everyone keeps talking about how we are all currently living though a historic event. Something that one day people look back on, judging us for how we handled it, whilst knowing how the story ends. However right now, it doesn’t feel like there is an end. First I was telling myself I just had to hold out until the end of spring break, then Easter, then May 1st, and as of when this was written May 15th.

Before I dive into all of that let me introduce myself. My name is Rachel Dunphey, and I am very much an extrovert. I currently am a sophomore at Saint Francis Catholic High School in Traverse City, MI. Before I was stuck inside I loved to act, sing, and dance and I was blessed to have an amazing life! My group of friends were everything I ever could have wished for, I was a straight A student about to become part of the Honors Society at my school, and I had just been cast as Elsa at the local theater. I was on top of the world!

When we were first told about social distancing I remember thinking that the word sounded so weird. I joked and laughed about it with my friends. In my mind not being around people all day everyday wasn’t even fathomable. The first week was fairly easy. I am a person of the arts so I would jump from painting, to singing, to playing my violin. After a week though I really began to miss my friends.

As I mentioned before I have been exceedingly blessed with the best friends in the whole world. My only problem was that they are almost all seniors. Don’t get me wrong, being a sophomore with mostly senior friends is pretty cool, and it allows me to do things other kids my age couldn’t. The downside to having senior friends is that they will all be gone next year. I have always known my time with them is limited, but that’s okay. That is how it is supposed to be. They will go off to college and will meet new amazing people. People who will change their life forever, and they will forget about the little high school sophomore. I have been preparing myself for the day I have to let go by cherishing every moment I get with them; however, I had never prepared myself to have that little bit of time stripped away.

Another thing that has been very hard to deal with during corona is the closure of churches. I am a devout Catholic, and my faith means the world to me. I can’t even imagine who I would be without the sturdy rock of Catholicism. Churches have been closed for over 2 months now. Never in my life have I gone more than a month without receiving Jesus. Heck, I have never gone a week without mass. I know I am not the only one currently feeling these “spiritual withdrawals” (for lack of a better word). I have talked to many of my friends and they feel the same as I do. I can watch mass on the television all day if I wanted, but it is still not the same. Once we are allowed in public again the first thing I will do is go to church. I love my God so much and I feel lost without him.

There is one good thing that has come from being locked inside though, and that is getting to spend time with my family. Quarantine made me realize what is really important in life. Friends will always be coming in and out of your life, but family is constant. I can be certain that 50 years from now I will still be talking and hanging out with my brother, but I can’t even guess where my best friend and I will be only 20 years from now. If quarantine has done anything positive for me it would be reminding me to enjoy time with my family. I am the oldest of 4 which means in only 2 years before I will be the first to leave the house. After that who knows if we will all ever live under the same roof again. There is so much I want to do with my mom, dad, brothers and sisters before I become an adult. Now I finally have the time to do that.

Right now, I may be scared of the challenges that are still to come due to this pandemic, but I know that we will pull through. We are Americans, and we are not new to challenges. We have faced many hardships in our history, but like every other one we will rise up greater and stronger than ever before. We won’t just live through history, we will make it.