Dear COVID: Don’t wait

“Dear COVID” is this year’s senior column series in which Hook seniors share their reflections on high school and the pandemic in the form of letters to the virus itself.

Dear COVID,

You took away a lot of great high school experiences. But even before you showed up I didn’t wasn’t taking advantage of them anyway.

I blame myself for this. To be fair, I entered Riverside as a sophomore after leaving Mexico, so the first year I said that I was adapting, but that was false because I was only shy. 

Sports are what I most regret not doing in high school. I had a passion for sports, I loved playing most sports, especially soccer, swimming and tennis. The main reason why I didn’t try out was the thought of failure. I would ask myself, “What if I’m not as good as them?” “What if I don’t make it to the team?” Instead of trying my best not to make them true, I decided not to tryout.

I avoided clubs, too, those extracurricular activities designed to help students socialize and find people with your common interests. At first I didn’t see the point of them. I didn’t even bother to read the list of clubs that were available. Entering my senior year I saw many with my favorite topics or some that I wanted to learn more about, like investment and video games.

As senior year started I also got my first job, mostly because of pandemic. After working for months now I regret not doing it earlier. I was blaming school for why I didn’t work. I would say that I don’t have time because I have to study and do homework, but really I just didn’t want to acknowledge that I was lazy. I regret not exploring more job opportunities in other places and finding ways to make more money.

Something I would recommend people entering high school is try to find a class you never thought about entering. I always chose classes I was comfortable in, like Spanish and gym. In my last year of high school I decided to join journalism. I never thought I was going to help create school newspaper, but I’m glad I did because it turned out to be one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken. I hope people entering high school try to find a class they never thought about taking. 

Thanks to you, COVID, this unusual school year made me realize that I didn’t take full advantage of high school. I missed out on many opportunities, I didn’t go to many school events, such as game days or dance/theater shows. I would always say, “No worries I’ll go next year,” until you came along. I hope students have fun, go to that football game, watch the school chorus, go to homecoming and prom. If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that there isn’t always a next time. 

Sincerely,

Angel Solorzano Arias

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