By Amelia Lipcsei

An entire year, 12 months, 52 weeks, or 365 days, passed by in the blink of an eye. It  feels like just yesterday, I stood in school, eyes twinkling with amusement at my friends lunch time shenanigans. Now, I sit at home, wishing for a cease in this seemingly endless, COVID filled, lifestyle. One year has gone  by since I missed out on my best friend’s sweet 16. Instead of hugging and blowing out candles, we stiffly sat in metal chairs, wearing masks to our avail. Rather than going on road trips to Disneyland in the blistering heat, we facetimed for hours on repeat, everyday morphing into one. In the cold of the night, we watched movies as our cheeks turned rosy from the chilly breeze. Bundling ourselves in sweaters and fuzzy blankets became a weekly routine. We ate homemade pizza under the string lights of the pergola. Our eyes crinkled while laughter filled the air. In our sofa-chairs, we talked, downing our apple Izze’s as our voices filled the concrete square. On late nights when the moonlight lit the sky, we lay in our tents, binging Disney shows and cracking jokes in fulfillment. Matching pink cowboy hats on Halloween, we decorated our mummy cookies and ate them cohesively. Each week, we socially distanced ourselves, careful with every item we touched, afraid to spread the virus. Yet, even then, with our safeguarded restrictions, we formed unforgettable memories: Valentine’s day picnics, chess on Friday nights, pizza dates in September, tented sleepovers, and movie nights. Yes, one year has passed. Perhaps more will ensue, but as long as life goes on, I will too.