My COVID Dreams: Rollins Hamrick’s Hopes for a Normal World


Grant Hawkins

COVID Class: Like all other 2,100 North Atlanta students, junior Rollins Hamrick has had to completely redo her own notions of what school means during the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 school year.

As the coronavirus has made its way across the globe over the last year, many lives have been disrupted as our society came to an abrupt halt for quarantine and the months following it. The virus has affected many lives, including that of North Atlanta junior Rollins Hamrick. Hamrick is an avid swimmer and a social butterfly who is involved in numerous extracurriculars. Her plans were on track and life was great, until COVID came through. In its wake the virus left a series of regulations and cancellations, disrupting the plans of Hamrick along with so many others. The initial excitement that first surrounded the news of a “two-week break” eventually turned into despair as her school days became a mind-numbing cycle of staring into the small window of a computer screen each day.

In the beginning, the prospect of Zoom School sounded great. It meant sleeping in, having more free time, and the peace and quiet of one’s own room to do any and all assignments. However, this excitement was short-lived, as the rose that was “doing school from home” brought with it quite a few thorns. It poses a few negative aspects such as lack of motivation or distractions that wouldn’t be found in the classroom. “It’s been much harder to keep myself motivated and focused when I have distractions like my phone that I didn’t have the option of using as much in class,” Hamrick said. “I have found myself sleeping a lot more, sometimes through some of my first period class, and I can tell that I have strayed away from the more disciplined routine of my pre-Covid school days.”

The pandemic has affected everyone differently, and for teenagers like Hamrick, losing the ability to have many social interactions with friends and peers can be one of the more difficult aspects. She misses the time she would typically have spent with her friends in and out of school, but fortunately she has been able to find ways to cope with the circumstances presented. A treehouse built by one of her friends provided a great place to be able to safely socialize with people outdoors that was corona friendly. “I had a hard time not being able to see my friends but we have been able to find ways to see each other while still remaining safe,” she said. “We all have to be more cautious and aware of what we are doing, so it’s more important than ever to be responsible when hanging out with friends.”

Being on the forefront of the first generation to engage in online school can be difficult since this is all so new to students like Hamrick. There is no telling what mental and physical effects can come of it. Lucky for her, she has the support of her family and friends, saying “The thought that some of my high school years are being spent in a pandemic really gets under my skin sometimes,” she said. “But when it does I will talk with my mom and she reminds me not to stress about anything and that it will be over soon enough.”

The pandemic has certainly posed challenges for everyone in varying ways but in times like these it is important to keep pushing through no matter the circumstances. For now, all that Hamrick and the many students like her can do is keep their head held high and continue to spread their Dub pride.