Editor’s note: Over the next several months, look for periodic articles written by DSUSD students regarding their experiences with school 2020 style. 

Though online learning has been challenging, Danica Larson has found a way to keep things positive

On March 13th, 2020 my mom and I went to serve dinner at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission after school, and then I went to watch a movie with some friends. We heard that school was going to be closed for two weeks — through spring break. I was excited to have the extra time off of school, but now looking back, regretful and laughing at my oblivion.

Life during the pandemic has been both rewarding and difficult. I’ve spent more time with my family. We’ve done lots of baking and cooking. We’ve spent time hiking and exercising. We got equipment so we could work out in our garage when the gyms were closed. We found ways to volunteer in the community despite the restrictions. We’ve made masks for the hospitals, helped with food distribution at St. Margaret’s, delivered meals for Meals on Wheels and Alzheimer’s Coachella Valley.

I feel lucky that my teachers have worked really hard to keep me engaged in school. We had adopted a puppy in January. She has been a source of laughter and frustration and I’m so glad she’s part of our family. I also used the extra time to get my college applications done early. I’ve always heard how stressful senior year can be due to college applications, but it wasn’t too bad because I have so much down time. Now I just have to wait until spring to find out where I’m admitted, and then I will really be stress free! Hopefully the university campuses will be reopened in the fall and I’ll get to go away to college.

I really miss going to school and seeing my friends everyday. Online learning has proven to be very challenging. I didn’t realize how much I learned from just sitting in a classroom with other people, but it’s an important part of learning. I’m really involved at school. This is my second year as ASB Senator of Spirit at Palm Desert High School. This job requires that I help plan rallies and assemblies, and we were actually working on the spring Sports Assembly when school closed. I love high school so missing out on things like assemblies, sporting events, and dances has been really difficult for me.

We continue to meet and plan as an ASB class and we’re working to keep students connected to the school. I’m also on the varsity cheer team. We were allowed to come back and start practicing in October. We have to wear masks and practice social distancing, so we spend our time conditioning and practicing dances and cheers. We aren’t allowed to tumble or stunt because of COVID restrictions which is a bummer. But, it has been really good to see my friends on the cheer team again and gives me something to look forward to. We’re all hoping that we’ll get to have a sports season this year.

Although the COVID-19 situation has been overall an unfortunate and troubling time for everyone, my family, friends and school have found a way to keep things positive!


Image Sources

  • Palm Desert High School: DSUSD