CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Camila Davila Gonzalez is a rising junior at South Mecklenburg High School. She’s preparing to return to the classroom after learning from home since March of 2020.
What You Need To Know
Camila Davila Gonzalez, a rising junior in the Charlotte area, did remote learning for a year and a half
She felt anxious, depressed and scared during the pandemic
She hopes adults at school don’t forget about the mental well-being of students as they return
Davila Gonzalez said staying home was the best option for her without being vaccinated at the time.
“Mainly for the safety of myself and my family,” Davila Gonzalez said. However, remote learning wasn’t ideal.
“You have a question and the [teachers] were with the in-person people, so it was definitely harder,” Davila Gonzalez said.
During that time, the 16-year-old also missed her friends and felt unmotivated.
“I felt more depressed during that time because you are at home doing the same every day,” Davila Gonzalez said.
Two of her family members had COVID-19, which concerned the teenager. Thankfully, they both recovered.
“Anxious, scared, depressed. At a point, I felt hopeless,” Davila Gonzalez said.
As part of her journalism class, she decided to write an article about teens and COVID-19. While she researched the subject, she found out the pandemic impacted the mental health of many other students too.
The article, which was featured in her school’s newspaper, was called, "Mental health. No one enjoys talking about it."
She opened up about her struggles to her supporting family and a therapist.
“It helps a lot. I’m doing a lot better than at the beginning of the pandemic,” Davila Gonzalez said.
Davila Gonzalez leaves the house to go to her summer job and is looking forward to returning to school in person.
“It’s definitely exciting doing something new,” Davila Gonzalez said.
However, one little thing Davila Gonzalez hopes adults at school don’t forget is the mental well-being of students.
“Just because we are going back in person doesn’t mean everything is going back to normal,” Davila Gonzalez said.
She is vaccinated and plans to follow the masking policy at school. She said she hopes social distancing and masking are enforced in the classroom.
Davila Gonzalez’ story was initially featured on ‘The Yearbook,’ a project from the CMS Foundation. The nonprofit for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools developed it to highlight stories on the school experience during the pandemic.