Students reflect on summer adventures during quarantine

Junior+Sheona+Jerin+explores+a+trail+with+her+sister+on+Aug.+20+near+a+friend%E2%80%99s+house.+Quarantine+has+opened+up+space+for+many+to+spend+time+in+nature+and+with+family.

Used with permission of Sheona Jerin

Junior Sheona Jerin explores a trail with her sister on Aug. 20 near a friend’s house. Quarantine has opened up space for many to spend time in nature and with family.

Noyanika Vattathara, Staff Writer

After the 2019-2020 school year, students were looking forward to the sweet taste of freedom that summer vacation held. However, the coronavirus pandemic and its drastic consequences caused many to cancel their summer plans.

Junior Mrudula Rapaka had plans with her family and friends to travel to Croatia during the summer but wasn’t able to go due to the risk of COVID-19.

“That was super disappointing because I had been looking forward to the vacation before all the intense summer work began,” Rapaka said. 

Some students have family living in distant countries, and those who fall into this category usually rely on school breaks to visit them. Junior Sheona Jerin was hoping to visit her family in India like she does every summer but was forced to alter her plans.

Although I didn’t get the summer break I dreamed of, I [enjoyed] relaxing at home”

— junior Mrudula Rapaka

“Instead [of traveling], we have been FaceTiming family a couple times every week, which is a lot more than usual since we are so used to seeing them in person during the summer,” Jerin said.

Despite the changes in their summer adventures, students like Jerin have been able to find activities that adhere to the coronavirus guidelines for health and safety. 

“I went on runs in D.C. with my mom and sister to train for the virtual army 10 miler,” senior Meghan O’Brien said. “It was a good challenge and I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment after the run.”

The abundance of time at home during the summer allowed students to better explore their interests and have fun with new activities. Some students such as Rapaka felt that quarantine provided much-needed time to destress and develop hobbies that were used as emotional and creative outlets. 

“I spent a lot of my summer getting into new hobbies like drawing, playing guitar and reading for pleasure,” Jerin said. 

Students like Rapaka are staying positive with hopes that they will be able to return to some degree of normalcy in the future and have made the best of the summer, albeit it wasn’t a summer they expected.

“Although I didn’t get the summer break I dreamed of, I [enjoyed] relaxing at home,” Rapaka said. “I still had fun exploring new hobbies.”