Time flies when you’re stuck at home

Amelia Jarrett, Staff Writer

I am an introvert in the simplest sense. My home has always been my place to hide from people and to take a break from the chaos of social interaction. But thanks to the pandemic, it isn’t my escape anymore. Instead, for many months, it has been the place that I have wanted to leave the most.  Not having the choice to stay home has made my one place of solace into its own sort of prison.  At least, that’s what I thought.

For weeks, I have viewed isolation and quarantine as some sort of trap. I thought that being stuck at home was one of the worst things about the pandemic. But now, I realize that it’s the best. Being stuck in the same three-bedroom house with my family for ten months has opened my eyes to all of the time that I’ve taken for granted. 

My sister is a senior right now, and she’ll be moving away to college next year. Many sisters can barely stand each other, but mine is my best friend. On weekends, we put on a movie and sleep in our living room, often laughing or talking long past the time we intended to go to bed. On school days, we sit in our kitchen and work together, trying not to laugh at the ridiculous expression the other is making when faced with a particularly challenging question. It was only recently, when my life was full of these silly moments, that I realized how much I took them for granted

A few weeks ago, I was practicing photography when my sister ran into the middle of my shot, just as the shutter clicked closed. The resulting photograph was so bizarre that for the next hour, we pranced around our back yard and our home attempting to recreate the poses from Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model. We took bright pictures in the snow, snapped photographs of bubbly laughter in front of my turquoise bedroom walls, and used my desk lamp to imitate the dramatic lighting of magazines such as Vogue or Elle. I found a few of those photographs the other day, as I did work for another project, and I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sadness as I thought of the moments that I will lose next year.

Similarly, my parents and I have realized throughout my sister’s college application process, that I only have three years left before I graduate. Thinking about this led me to realize the other things I will miss. I will miss the way my mom cooks dinner, the hearty Russian foods that are a staple in our house. I will miss hearing my dad test out a new pedal or play his brand-new guitar.

Over the past few weeks, I realized that I will miss the house itself with its big fireplace and copper pots in the kitchen. This place, which for months I thought was a prison, may actually be the one thing I will miss most when I eventually have to leave, because my family will always be my family but this house at some point will not be my home. 

So, I implore all high-schoolers to value this time. Even if your family doesn’t get along well, even if your little brother is driving you insane or you feel like your parents are constantly on your case, love them. Appreciate all they do for you, and all you do for them. Take this time to really look at your surroundings and be grateful for each and every person around you. As high-schoolers, we only have a few years left, so value every moment.