Writing: ‘Advice for Online School’ by Samantha Rodriguez

This piece placed second for middle school writing submissions in the 2021 Ánimo Voices Writing and Art Competition, which invited students to express the reality of the challenges they or others face and/or how they or others find hope through difficult times. The competition is an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.

Samantha Rodriguez


By Samantha Rodriguez
Ánimo Jefferson Charter Middle School

Advice For Online School

You’re tired of it.

You’re tired of staring at a computer screen every hour and doing every
assignment that your grade requires. You have a missing assignment, now five,
now ten.

Then you wonder when this pandemic and semester will end.

Opening your laptop to a lesson, the instructions are unclear. The distractions at
home make it hard to hear. You type and click, link after link. Your wrist is
sprained and your eyes, they sting. Your posture is worse. Your head, it hurts,

This online school thing feels like a curse.

These quizzes and tests are so exhausting, the thought of the consequences so
haunting. You picture your parents looking at your grades. They would scold you
and call you a disgrace.

Family and friends are having fun while you stay in your room and make sure the
work gets done. Life is happening outside your door, while you ́re stuck inside
trying to raise your score.

If they say hard work is the key to success, then why does this work make us feel
like a mess?

You just want to punch a wall and forget it all, yet you think about what would
happen if your grades start to fall. Then you look at the clock: time went by fast.
But you just couldn’t bring yourself to finish the task. You are so tired of this
online class!

You tremble and shake.
Your heart pounds fast.
You can’t stop the racing thoughts:

There’s something wrong with you.
You’re going to fail.
You can’t get this right.
You are not working hard enough.


It’s not good to push yourself to do more than you can do. If you can’t work at the
moment that’s alright, that’s cool. It’s better to not cry about that presentation.

It’s unfair I get it. I know it’s hard. Do the most you can, don’t overwork yourself
and get mad, Your health matters more.

Go get a snack.
Take a nap.

Focus on yourself a little more.