James Spoerry, 15, on taking teachers for granted and missing out on seeing his friends:
The novelty of home schooling can wear off quickly. Photograph: Antonio Guillem Fernández/Alamy
When I heard schools were going to close, I was like every other 15-year-old: excited. Thinking home schooling would be great. What could be better than not having to get up at the crack of dawn or rushing to get out of the house? For the first few weeks it was brilliant, until the novelty started to wear off.
The pandemic has made me realise how much students take teachers for granted. Now, if I’m stuck on a piece of work, I can’t just put up my hand and ask for help. I enjoy school, but I’m not the brainiest kid in the class, and not being able to get an instant response has been one of the hardest challenges.
I enjoy talking with my friends, but it’s been hard not seeing them. Contact through texting and FaceTime just isn’t the same. I feel trapped inside my house. When I do go out, it’s only round the block, and with a parent. As a teen, I feel like I’ve lost my independence.
Covid-19 has changed the way we live and work, possibly for ever. No one knows where we will be this time next year, or even next week, and that’s scary. What I’ve taken away from this, though, is the feelings of loneliness and isolation. I’m not alone in that.