Student Sarahgrace's Desk

A Day in the Life of a Virtual Student

by Sarahgrace Porter of Charleroi High School

My day begins with an alarm at 7:40 and a coffee that may or may not wake me up properly for my first class at 7:54. I listen, with tired eyes and a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, to my History of Pittsburgh teacher explaining the expectations for our final project. It will be self-paced and take motivation from myself and only myself to complete, like many assignments students get lately.

I attend classes until 10:02 which is when my 5th period study hall begins. This time in the day is one of the only reasons I enjoy online classes, because I can leave and grab a salad to have for lunch later from a local café or take an iced coffee break with friends. I can also have lunch at any time instead of being scheduled every day, which is nice since our lunch normally starts quite early.

I make it back in time for another class at 12:52 after the allotted lunch period and at 2:16 we are released from school officially. This is when I leave for musical rehearsal. We have rehearsals in person currently, so I drive there right after school. My director takes our temperature at the door and we wear masks throughout our time in the auditorium. As the student director, I need to be there five days a week, so this is part of my normal routine. This year we are performing Princess Whatsername. I am excited to be able to do a show, even if live performances may not be the same. We were extremely fortunate to get through our show Seussical last year as well before the shutdown.

After rehearsal, I usually head straight to my personal trainer to do circuit training exercises or work in my home gym on something, as it helps me work towards a goal outside of school. This helps with motivation since so much in my academic life has been changed or taken away.

The rest of my night is usually spent doing homework or reviewing something that we learned at rehearsal. I find it hard to stay motivated during this time and split my time between homework, extracurriculars, and clubs like The Challenge Program, Inc. and student government, which are now in full swing fortunately, but having a good environment like an organized workspace and encouraging support system helps immensely. Recently I moved the furniture in my room to create a more efficient environment. I also use music a lot to help with the stress of meeting deadlines and expectations that I feel are harder to meet from home.

I will be returning to school in-person Feb. 1 and am overly excited but also intimidated because we have been away for so long. It feels like the first day of school all over again, but somehow worse. Students will be held to the same high standard as if we have never left. But for next month I challenge myself and my fellow students, all of you, to simply try your best! If you return to school and your best grade is a little worse than it might have been a year ago, be easy on yourself. We have been living through and are still dealing with a pandemic and some of us have not been to school in months!

This is why The Challenge Program, Inc. includes categories of achievement like attendance and academic improvement. You can be a leader and a goal-setter by showing up and trying. Soon you will transition from trying to thriving. Thanks for reading! Happy New Year everyone.