My Story: 180 Degree Turn


On March 13, 2020, I was 13 years old. I was a naive 8th grader at Clague Middle School (CMS), not expecting what was to come.

I told my friends that the next time I would see them at school would be when I was 14 and a day old. But, I didn’t go back to school until I was 15, and I still haven’t seen some of those friends even though it is now January 2022.

The week of March 13 was hectic. The school received news that Covid-19 could put us on hold. 

I was in the yearbook advisory and we skipped almost all of our academic classes to try to take as many photos as possible. We needed to have the final edits in by April 7 to ensure the yearbooks would be printed in time for the end of the year. 

After that week, we never returned. No one signed my yearbook. 

Nothing happened. It was a new way of living: a 180-degree turn. I was excited, though: at least at the beginning of the shutdown.

Spring break — or so we thought, was supposed to be only one week long, but it soon became three. 

We then completed the year online with no lectures. Just Google Classroom and or online videos of teachers from other schools. Seven classes, new material every day. Start at 10:00 a.m., finish at 1:00 p.m. Fridays off, just a simple Google Form to say that I understood the material in class — or did I? I didn’t understand the content. But I had an urge to take a break from the screens. I was in a rush to finish the form and get back to sleep. A three-day weekend that I finally had.

Everything was put on hold. I had nothing to look forward to. Depressed in my unkempt bedroom all day.

June came around the bend. 8th-grade parties, yearbook signing, finals and graduation. The good and the bad, none of it happened. Other than a graduation cake that I made for myself.

I went back to CMS one day in June to pick up my yearbook, thinking that I would be able to get it signed — but I still haven’t. No notes, no names, no nothing. Not even a dot from a pen that accidentally touched the crisp, white back-inside cover of my now almost two-year-old yearbook.