New normal tasks over old days

Madison Murdock participates in Sideline Cheer pre-Covid.

From waking up early to go to sports practice, and now rolling out of bed a minute prior to first hour – life has changed as a result of COVID-19.
Students from every background at RHS have been affected, everyone from students involved in sports teams to band players to DECA students.
Sophomore DECA student and swimmer Jose Hinojosa has felt the effects of COVID on his personal life and whatever athletic time he has left.
“Before COVID, I spent all day in the pool and with friends,” said Hinojosa.
An active member of DECA, he had recently progressed to the state level of competition in Detroit; an event shaped by COVID, with no handshakes and limited interactions. Although life has changed for many, Hinojosa has focused on making his life better with the extra time he has been given.
“I’ve taken advantage of all the free time I’ve had to learn more about politics, and the real world. As well as working on my fashion sense and working out more,” Hinojosa said.
Hinojosa is not alone in the disruption of his “normal” lifestyle. Seniors, in general, have felt the effects of a post-COVID high school lifestyle. Expecting a laid back, final year of their high school career and instead having to wake up every morning to sit through Zoom lessons while your extracurricular activities are either online as well or canceled altogether is something no Class of 2021 student could have expected.
“My life was very ‘normal’ before COVID…I took everything for granted; I saw my friends, went to cheer practice, woke up early for school, all of it.” Madison Murdock, a senior involved in DECA, competitive cheer, and sideline cheer, said. “Now, I wake up at 7:59 AM and roll over in my bed, open up my computer, and join my Zoom. I don’t have cheer practice anymore and I hardly see my friends,” Murdock said.
Now, she cannot even go to school in person. CNBC estimates that half of students in the US are enrolled in some form of remote learning.
“I’m extremely happy we were able to scrounge up a band season this year; although precautions were added for everyone’s safety, it was still an amazing experience,” senior saxophone section leader Cordelia Krajewski said.
However, as cases have risen, more and more usual amenities of high school life are being canceled. Marching Band was canceled during the last two weeks of the actual season, prompting Krajewski’s life to have “slowly regressed to a lockdown state again.”
“Before COVID, I could perform shoulder to shoulder with my band members,” Krajewski said. “Now, I hardly leave the house except to work and often wake up just minutes before class starts. It’s depressing, and just a bummer.”
Fatigued attitudes towards online education as well as towards the precautions required to even attempt to socialize or venture into public seem to be a shared experience among RHS students.
“We have to wear masks anytime we are outside of our own homes, we have to be careful with who we interact with, many events are being postponed – events that people have worked so hard for. I wish that COVID didn’t happen, this virus has ruined many things, but it has also taught me multiple lessons,” Murdock said.
Murdock has focused on becoming more involved in mental health over the past few months. As a co-founding member of the People’s Purpose Project, she helps spread awareness about mental health and improving the community through social media initiatives and partnerships with teen advisors.
The effects of COVID have been shown on a global scale, and also on a local and
personal level. These three students are just a glimpse of how life has changed.