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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Porta

Class of COVID: Sunny-Side-Up

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Starting high school was like being dropped off in the woods with a backpack full of nothing. Ending high school is like flying out with paper wings tied to the mended straps. That’s what I wrote in my Common App essay, anyway.

Ending high school is a little different these days. School is online, clubs are over zoom, and its pajama time all day every day. I liked it at first. I’m an introvert and home is my happy place. For the first few months, I was totally content. But after a while, I started to get lonely. Really lonely. I used to see my friends in person every day, so I was used to not needing to make plans to see them. Now, I can’t see them at all. At least I had my cat, right?

I was taking more classes than ever before and my social interactions were limited to my family. We got closer, but we also drove each other crazy. I remember last October when we all had an argument about scented hand soaps. Really. Mom was sick of buying lavender, I loved lavender, and my little brother wanted sandalwood. My dad stayed out of it. We ended up getting one called ocean breeze.

I got into my dream school last December. I can confidently say that it was the best day of my life. I spent that semester working hard, crafting the perfect essays, trying to get good grades, and having no fun at all. Getting into my dream college made me realize that. I hadn’t felt relaxed or happy in a long time. That’s why I decided to enjoy my last few months of high school, however short. I still try to get good grades, but I also picked up knitting. I still write essays for scholarships, but afterwards, I watch SNL with my dad. Being a student during the Covid pandemic requires balance between work and play. When you’re unhappy, take a break. Let ending high school be like flying out with paper wings tied to the mended straps of your backpack.

Submit your story HERE.


Spread your paper wings,

Olivia Porta

C.I.A. (Creative Intern Assistant)

NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Class of 2025

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