The Effect of Summer 2020 on Summer 2021


Rylie Rice (9th), Reporter

No matter how much we all hated our prolonged quarantine experience, we sure found comfort in our own homes. Being at home and on Zoom for our studies was like “wear pjs to school day” for almost an entire year. Over time, the whole world became accustomed to it, and even grateful for the opportunity. However, there was a variation in responses to the reopening of schools, the lift of quarantine, and the end of wearing masks. Did this make a difference on teenagers’ excitement for their two month break? Are they even excited anymore? 


I, for one, remember counting down till the end of the school year since the beginning of May for as many years as I can remember. The thought of being free all summer, hanging out with friends everyday, staying up late, no homework, and going to the fair made me beyond happy. But this year I realized nobody was making it as big of a deal. Most of my friends explained they’d rather be at home, sleep in, stay in their pjs, and go on their phone, than go out with their friends for a couple of hours. It felt odd to me that after an entire year of staying home they wanted to still stay locked in, even with the world back to its livelihood. That was until I realized that it was what they were most comfortable with because it was their new normal.


On the other hand, I had some friends who craved the idea of summer returning because the thought of spending one more second at home would drive them crazy. If you think about it, they were affected by COVID-19 in the same way, just looked at it differently. The way they spent last summer raised their expectations for this summer; to fulfill their need for time spent out of the house through socialization and vacations.


So, I decided to interview some of my peers here at Pitman High to figure out how exactly they were affected. My close friend Mia Peterson said that “summer 2020 raised my expectations for summer 2021 because I could finally look forward to hanging out with friends and being able to go on vacations.”  To meet her expectations, Peterson explained that “[she] definitely tried my best to go out everyday and I went on at least a couple trips to the lake and down south to California’s bigger cities.”


Another peer of mine, Zachary Looney, explained that “staying locked-in encouraged [me] to go out and live life because I realized being home was way too boring for me.” 


Peterson and Looney, like many others, were affected by their past summer in the sense that it made them more excited for their old normalcy. However, they both leaned towards being at home when the quarantine was first lifted because of how “secure” it made them feel. Slowly, they felt relieved to be able to experience things in the same ways we used to. The two of them felt like another change to their routine was going to need some getting used to, but now they thoroughly enjoy the return of an unquarantined lifestyle.