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  • Writer's pictureThe Eastside Panther

APRIL 20 - STEPHANIE XILOJ (sophomore)

I never thought that I would be able to sleep at home on a weekday, but now I am. I used to sleep at home just one night a week, but now I am home 24/7. I used to miss my family and wish I could spend more time at home, but now that I’m home, I feel a different void in my heart.

Living in the dorms was filled with friends and company. Now, I’m no longer able to rant daily at my RF, and my 5’11 roommate is no longer threatening my life, nor are we having our nightly talks. I miss eating lunch on the floor and eating dinner at the same table everyday. I miss watching Marvel movies with my RF and occasionally staying the weekend.

So, I have a new list of things to miss. But I also have a new list of things I feel grateful for. I get to watch family movies, braid my little sisters’ hair, and enjoy the nature around my home. I live in the outskirts of a city named Turlock, where trees surround my house and there are only three houses on our street. We have lemon, orange, and grapefruit trees in the backyard -- that's where my mom picks ingredients for homemade lemonade and other juices. I’m a big fan of her orange juice.

I also love walking outside, riding my bike, and star-gazing. My little sisters love playing outside, so I tend to join them, and they never seem to run out of energy. Together we ride our bikes and try to find different star constellations.

So the unexpected benefit of this pandemic is that I have been brought closer to my family. I hope we’re able to grow even closer during this time and to hopefully stay that way.

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