Tough year. Tough choices.

Why I chose to stay home


Kathleen Ortiz

Junior Gabby Norman chose to stay home when the school allowed students to choose between virtual and in-person learning.

Gabby Norman, Managing Editor

Staring at the choices in my grandparents’ living room, I had no idea what to do. My phone lit up with my dad texting me again, asking which one I was choosing. I texted my friends, asking them what they had chosen, and finally responded, “I’ll go back to school.”
In late June, the first survey came out to Humble ISD families, asking the students if they would like to choose online or in-person school. I was visiting my grandparents at the time, so my dad forwarded me the email the school had sent out. After 30 minutes of deliberation and consulting my friends, I chose to go back.
Three months later, I’m sitting in my living room, looking to see if I have any work in my virtual classes. With an original intention to go to in-person school, I soon changed my mind. The pros of seeing my teachers and friends were nice, but they didn’t outweigh the cons. With my mom working in the medical field and five of us at home, going back wasn’t a viable option.
Online school is hard, in my opinion much harder than in-person school. My grades somewhat reflect that, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. No longer can I ask a teacher a question in class, instead I have to email them and hope they respond before the assignment is due. What was once all A’s are now slipping into A’s and B’s. Junior year is the most academically important year of my life, and I’m working extra hard due to a disconnect between myself and my learning.
My mom is in the medical field, so if I get sick my whole family will have to quarantine and she won’t be able to work. Not everyone has been following the social distancing and sanitizing rules imposed by the government and school, so the likelihood of contracting COVID is much higher when around other students. My choice to be online isn’t just for me, it’s to keep my family safe. Thankfully, I’m allowed to go out to the store and practice, but I’m doing my best to be a good role model for those around me.
For now, online school is the safest choice for me and my family. I don’t know when I’m going to go back in person, but what I do believe is that COVID won’t be going away for a while. This is our new way of life.