I’m back, and this month I’m here to talk about something that certainly hangs around me quite a bit. All the free time I have that’s come with online school.

During distance learning, my good study habits and work ethic have vanished. I find myself cramming at the last minute more than I’d like. Reformation seems impossible, no matter how much I try.

Although online school has given me an unmatched amount of stress, I have a lot, and I mean, A LOT of free time. Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense to me either yet, here we are. So, how am I spending that idle time?

Being completely honest, TikTok and other social media apps have filled the void. My phone is practically begging me to leave it alone at this point. I know, not very productive but swiping my finger across a screen is all the motivation I have at this point in time.

When I’m not staring at my phone, what am I doing? Well mostly just spending time with my family. As annoying as it’s been to be cooped up with them for the past year, loneliness hasn’t reached me and I’m extremely grateful to that. Whether it be playing a board game or watching a movie, their company has saved me in so many ways.

Another one is French! I’ve been learning French on my own for about nine months now and let me tell you, practicing French is probably the most productive thing I’ve done this past year.

However, don’t ask me to speak it. I never said I was good. We’ll get there at some point.

Last, but certainly not least is, speaking with my friends. I’ve mentioned this before but FaceTime and texts have really come through. Staying connected with them virtually (due to given circumstances) gives me a new level of serotonin and excitement.

All this time with nothing to do has been a journey but, the people in my life, along with newfound hobbies/activities have occupied me to an extent that’s good enough for now.

It’s been quite the experience. Very new. Very strange. I think I can say I’ve gotten slightly more comfortable and familiar with the new system as I hope you have.

Also, I hope the new year brought you nothing but positivity and hope. That’s all I’ve got.

See you next month!

Reeti Thakkar, 15, is a sophomore at Chanhassen High School this year. She enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends/family, listening to music and painting. She speaks Hindi, other regional languages from the Indian subcontinent, Spanish, and is learning French. Thakkar has been passionate about writing her entire life. As a teenager, she feels young voices are an integral part of our society.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.