Sitting at home 24 hours a day sounds like a dream to a teenager. No classrooms suffocating you with complex equations scribbled across whiteboards or teachers calling on you just as your brain begins to float away. No more hours sitting in the stiff air of a school building, watching the clock tick away. Free of school desks and long classes and oily cafeteria food and wasted hours that I could simply be spending in my bed. Now that sounds like a dream to me.
In a way, it seems like I got the time free of school I so desperately wanted. I don’t have to wake up at six in the morning, spend a half an hour in a car fighting to keep my eyes open and endure another seven hours of trying to understand thousands of things that are being told to me. I don’t have to spend half of class wishing I were home in my bed, because now I am.
The only difference between that little dream and now is that I’m a little more stressed, a little more scared and a little more stuck.
Sure, I wake up a little later, finish up my school a little earlier. I don’t have to spend the entire day squirming in a hard seat as my back begins to tense up. I have my bed, my dog and a supply of snacks within my reach. My life now revolves around staring at a screen, from the time I open my eyes to the time I close them. I have everything I spend my school days wishing I had.
What I’m realizing is that I didn’t really want to spend a few more hours lying in bed, wasting time, or watching a vapid reality tv show. The only thing I really wanted was a little bit of freedom. I went from sitting in a room, trying to understand European history within a school building to doing the same thing in my house. From taking a test on something I probably should have studied for more in a classroom to taking it in my bedroom. From laughing with my friends in a lunchroom to eating alone in my kitchen. I’m on the inside looking out, but this time I’m a little more stressed, a little more scared and a little more stuck.
Maya Joncas is a student at St. Mary’s Academy-Bay View in East Providence, Rhode Island. She is a 2019 and 2020 Write Rhode Island winner.