Resilience during an Unprecedented Time: What NTI looks like through my eyes

     I open my eyes to the sound of my fan, blowing softly in an almost humming tune. Stretching, I sit up and pick up my phone along with my glasses. I slide the frames of my glasses on my face and look at the time on my phone. It is 7:50 A.M., the day is only beginning. I reach down to pick up my MacBook and open Schoology. No Teams meeting in the first class of the day means I get to lay back down in bed and close my eyes once more. Just five more minutes of sleep. I wake up to the sound of my alarm beeping. It is now 9:03 A.M. and I almost slept through the entirety of my first class. I go through some of my classes, and again there is no meeting in the fourth class time of the day, so I lay down in my warm bed and close my eyes once more. 

     NTI. Non-traditional Instruction. Surely this is “non-traditional.” The definition for NTI is a program that encourages the continuation of academic instruction on days where school would otherwise be canceled. Every time NTI begins again, I have to tell myself to stay positive and that it will be over soon. But we all know the truth, as cases of COVID-19 rise, this may be our reality for longer than planned. 

     Days blur together during this eternal sleep-walking-like affair. Sleep-walking through life and through my classes, as it is easier to stay up until 3 A.M. when I don’t have to be anywhere in the morning. It is easier to say just five more minutes, knowing I mean another hour, when school doesn’t feel like school. When “school” feels like a mockery of the subject of learning and begins to make me hate learning altogether. But I truck through it anyway, waking up at almost the same time every day and going through class period after class period. 

     Waking up for classes that don’t feel like classes is difficult. Learning does not feel like learning. And social interaction through a screen makes it not seem like social interaction at all. For once, I crave the halls of Highlands High School and not the safety of my bed. Even though I don’t hang out with many of the people in my classes outside of school, I miss them. School seems ten times more difficult than before, although learning inside of school during the pandemic was hard enough. But then I realize, school needs to be online. Although it seems difficult, we have been through this before. We have dealt with NTI and done just fine, so why is now any different? Trucking through high school is something I have done for years. I don’t feel so alone, because my classmates are going through it too. Being resilient is something that anyone can do, as long as they try. And so, that is what we’re doing, trying is the only thing that we can do right now. Resiliency is needed now, so it comes more easily.

     But having a peaceful mindset during NTI is difficult. Feeling restless and uncomfortable learning at my house, having good mental health is just a little more difficult than before. There are distractions and doing homework seems like more of a choice. Even though my Instagram feed and room are filled with motivation, I find it very hard to stay motivated at a time like this. Motivation is something that is learned over time.

     So, I encourage everyone to surround yourself with positivity and social interaction, even if it’s just with your direct family members or through this silver box. Talk to people, don’t leave yourself alone at this difficult time in our lives. Realize that it’s okay to be scared and worried, because I assure you, we as a community, feel the same way.