My Story: Beauty in Chaos


Poppy Magee

Abbi, Delaney, and I in the Arb on my birthday.

On March 13, 2020, I was thirteen years old.
On March 1, I performed in a musical with the backdrop of the parent crew chit-chatting about a potential virus.
On March 3, I went on my first and only tour of Community High School, with everyone who was accepted into the lottery.
March 13 was Pi Day at school. We threw a pie at my math teacher’s face, yearbook advisory made sure we had every photo we needed and we frantically packed up our lockers.
I didn’t have a desk. So I sat in a living room arm chair and finished eighth grade.
We moved a desk into my room. I get bangs and start playing Animal Crossing.
On June 10, I sit down at my desk to graduate middle school. I watch recordings of my choir friends singing and I listen to peers and teachers give speeches over Zoom.
I celebrated my 14th birthday in the Nicholas Arboretum. Two friends and I walked with an incredibly heavy picnic basket. We watched the college kids tossing frisbees, listened to music and sat down by the river. A day of peace.
Little things keep happening, breaking up the monotonous streamline of sameness. My mental health got worse, school got more confusing and I was desperately trying to find some sources of joy.
I spent my freshman year of high school in my room, like everyone else. I unraveled my brain, spent hours on Zoom and cried curled up under my desk. Actually, scratch that. Cried in my bed, cried in my bathroom, cried on the screened-in porch. It’s not a unique experience for a teenager during covid, but it is a significant one.
I don’t have a grand theme or lesson I took away from online school. But I do have a couple beautiful moments of connection with friends and family, despite all the chaos.