The Time Warp of a Pandemic World


This year, the concept of time has been distorted for many students at Marriotts Ridge High. A lot of students feel like they have lost time in this pandemic in more than one way. In addition, students have had to learn how to manage their time wisely while being out of the school building, which has been difficult for those who didn’t have this skill on lock before the pandemic hit.
“It’s been really hard, personally. I always find myself procrastinating, which I never did before,” sophomore Rachel Armstrong said. “I think school gave an environment to learn, so I knew when I went to class I had to work. [Now,] since I’m always home, the lines are so blurred and my brain isn’t used to it.”
For many students, it is difficult to put themselves in a productive mood when they’re working in their bedroom, where they are prone to distractions like food, other devices, etc.
“When I’m doing my work, I use the Pomodoro 50:10 method to be productive,” sophomore Joanna Chang said. “I also set certain limits to get things done, so it’s not difficult for me to lose track of time.”
Students like Chang are using online apps like Podomoro, a timer app, to manage their time when it comes to getting assignments done. It’s a free app on the App Store and is compatible with most Apple and Android devices.
There are many different ways to manage time wisely. One way, as mentioned above, includes 50 minutes of work and a 10 minute break. However, this structure could be used in a variety of ways; for example, a student could do 25 minutes of work with a 5 minute break. Having structure is really helpful when it comes to setting aside time to do work, it almost feels like a race to get work done. Knowing that a student is racing against the clock gives students the motivation to complete their work.
Online resources like these, including with the ones given by the school system, such as MackinVia, WeVideo, and the HC Library, have been of immense help to the student body. However, the internet can be a double edged sword. Although it can help students be productive through apps, it’s incredibly easy to side-tracked.
It only takes one click to open up a new tab and get distracted on apps like Twitter or YouTube. However, Gen Z has created one app that is, essentially, a perfectly-crafted distracter: TikTok.
The viral app, TikTok, has been causing students like Crystal Huang, a sophomore, to lose hours of time while scrolling through short 60-second videos. Some would think that since the videos are only a minute long that they won’t take up much time, but this is not the case. These videos are organized by an algorithm that directs specific videos to a person who has previously shown interest towards a certain topic in the past. As students get lost scrolling through endless videos, by the time they look up to check the time, it has been hours.
“I usually lose track of time from watching TikTok,” Huang said. “I just want to do something relaxing that I can do at home.”
While students like Huang and Armstrong feel like they’re losing time to do their work, others feel like they lose time while doing their work.
Tanvi Kotta is one such student. “Personally, doing work or homework makes me lose track of time,” Kotta said. “I spend hours just trying to finish everything, and, more often that not, I find myself wishing there were more hours in the day.”
Not even just a day, this entire year feels as if so much more could have been done; more hobbies could have been acquired, more movies watched…
“It feels like March was just yesterday,” Chang said. “Because I’m studying and finishing up work all the time, I noticed how fast the year has passed.”
Other students, like Armstrong, feel like the days are passing by at snail’s pace, dragging on and on. “It’s been really slow, mainly because I don’t understand what’s going on in half of my classes,” Armstrong said.
It has been hard to find the middle ground for students when it comes to holding themselves accountable while doing your work, but also having time for breaks. It is important for students to remember to breathe and set time aside for themselves.
“I have certainly rushed myself this year, because I feel like I have to get all of my work done in the shortest amount of time,” Kotta said. “To reach the middle ground, I think that I can make sure to take a couple of breaks. [I have to remember] that it is ok to take breaks every once in a while.”
It’s extremely important for students’ mental health to be able to allow themselves to cool down and be kinder to themselves, especially during these trying times.