I didn’t know what to expect the morning we returned to Lawrence High School. Fishing out my ID card from a pocket of my backpack I hadn’t dipped into in two weeks, I opened the school door.
I was fortunate to be nestled at my grandparents’ unaffected home in Queens for those two weeks. With all the necessary amenities, the only thing missing from my daily routine was going to school. With the gas shortage, I wasn’t able to come to Cedarhurst for the town hall meetings and gasp at sinkholes around the high school.
However, most of my peers did not evacuate beforehand and chose to stay at home even after Hurricane Sandy passed. A few of my friends who remained in their homes had power restored for a day or two before losing it to the nor’easter.
The day of the nor’easter, with my boots crunching on the fresh snow and my fingers frozen, I wondered how my friends stayed warm on those frigid nights. They soon told me after that it was incredibly hard. It was cold and dark but there was lots of family bonding. They ate basic suppers and told stories by candlelight. Bundled up, they slept close to one another for warmth. Although there were many more negatives that sprouted from Sandy, this simple positive made the situation bearable.
Although teachers are trying to gently ease us back into our daily routines, it is still difficult to adjust to our new situations and tackle our missed work. Students still need time to review. Meanwhile, the tempo of our lessons are getting quicker. Along with the schoolwork, seniors have busy Novembers and Decembers with college application deadlines slowly but surely approaching.
Though our futures are important, we need to also focus on the present and the destruction that Sandy has caused. All these factors have left students overwhelmed and anxious for everything to go back to normal.
But as I walked from my last class to my locker on our first day back, I saw hopeful smiles on familiar faces and I knew that we were going to be okay.