There was a sense of elation, excitement, and exuberance that came into everyone’s lives when we heard the news of school reopening. “No more quarantine!” we all cheered, overjoyed for the newfound human interaction and divergence from self-isolation. It seemed a new beginning for all of us-- until we realized it could happen all over again.
In order to keep our campus safe, Baylor has taken the precaution of quarantining any and all individuals exposed to COVID-19. This entails students reliving that quarantine experience for up to two weeks. However, is it really as traumatic as it once was? Junior Olivia Hankins '22 comments that while quarantine “wasn’t as boring as [she] thought it would be,” it was rather “lonely, and [she] had a hard time sleeping.” Going from seeing people regularly to not, once again, she states was “different and strange,” as she missed her friends and the daily routine of in-person classes. She also explains that classes were much harder to participate in as she “didn't feel very engaged with the class” and that “class discussions were much harder to follow because the audio would get mixed up and cause zoom to lag” causing a decline in her assessment scoring. Hankins noticed all of these disadvantage; however, one advantage she notes is that she “wasn’t as stressed,” which was a nice addition to the overall despair of the situation.
Quarantine was not only hard for a junior taking multiple AP classes, but also for a newly minted freshman Aly Johnston '24. She also expresses feelings of fear as she “didn't want to miss out on any opportunities” especially when it came to her academics and even friends, as a new boarder, it is often difficult to establish those groups so early in the year. In addition, she also mentions concerns of school work including finding that it was “harder to digest the information being taught to [her].” Especially being new in the boarding community, Johnston greatly missed her friends and her roommate and hated “being by herself” and missing out on key boarding events such as weekend outings or s’mores in the student center.
Both Hankin’s and Johnston’s experience, while slightly different, were entirely very similar, showing the potential downsides and perils of quarantine. They both serve as an example to our student body, keeping all of us safe while warning us to follow the proper precautions so not to relive their negative experiences.