Students use winter break to refresh from online learning


Photos courtesy of: Eli Massachi (top), Karen Galas (bottom) , and Kaila Nassir (right)


Karely Molina Martinez staff writer 
With the first semester of online learning complete, students used their winter break as a way to relax. The two-week break allowed students to take a break from online classes and spend time with their families as well.
Junior Eli Massachi took “major precautions” when he traveled to Park City, Utah. He claims his family was “double-masked and [wearing] face shields while on the plane.” When returning, they made sure to quarantine until all their COVID tests came back negative. 
“Although my family went out of town, we were always very careful. We also got tested when we got back–all negative. However, going out is not the problem for me personally. People, especially here in LA, [we] cannot handle being locked in their homes all day; it’s very difficult,” Massachi said. “What bothers me, though, is when people go out and are reckless. These types of people are the ones who purposely ignore health mandates and are the cause of the rising number of cases and deaths in LA County.” 
Students who stayed local, such as junior Kaila Nassir, used this time to rediscover old summer hobbies. While in quarantine, Nassir dedicated more time to her favorite hobbies such as baking, playing tennis and binge-watching Gossip Girl. Nassir also used this time to go back to a past hobby which she previously had no time for.
“I started knitting. I used to knit a lot when I was like in fifth and sixth grade, and then I just didn’t,” Nassir said. “I’m a really big Harry Styles fan,[and] there’s this sweater that he wore, and it had become a trend on TikTok; everyone was remaking the sweater. I’m like, ‘You know what? Let’s see what my sixth grade knitting skills can do for me.’ So I started doing that, I didn’t finish it, but it gave me something to do.” 
Nassir tried to stay away from technology and searched for alternatives to spending time on her laptop. 
“The reason I started knitting, and I was baking and I was playing tennis was because I was trying not to use my computer so much. I have to use it all day, every day for school and that’s kind of exhausting. So I was like, ‘You know what, let’s get productive’,” Nassir said. “That’s what I was trying to accomplish.”
Some students picked up activities from classes or were also inspired by trends on social media. Sophomore Karen Galas picked up art skills through TikTok, and learned how to draw anime characters. Galas also  took inspiration from her culinary class and baked cookies over the break.
“I’ve definitely taken up cooking from having culinary in class. I just started to practice more and cook more. And I also started to be more artistic from videos I saw on TikTok,” Galas said.
Others stayed at home and created their own activities, like junior Manoocher Jadidolahi, who was inspired by a new year and focused around a set routine for the first week of his winter break.
“I didn’t get to do as much as I liked because of COVID. However, during the first week of winter break, I biked five to seven miles every morning and went to the very difficult bike trails at Franklin Canyon. I also gained an interest in working out and spent an hour or two lifting weights and running. However, during the second week, I got a bit lazy watching movies, playing countless hours of video games and expanding my knowledge about the stock market,” Jadidolahi said. “During some occasions I would go out and hang with my friends, either to go to the mall or play basketball. However, every Friday I would drive to my grandparents’ house to talk and have tea with them.” 
In an effort to avoid out of state travel, junior Hannah Naydavood traveled with her family to Big Bear Lake to ski. It was refreshing for Naydavood to get away from her laptop and technology. Naydavood tried to “completely ignore my technology” and did her best to “get away from it.” 
“I went on a lot of walks outside, it was really nice just getting out of the house,” Naydavood said. “This winter break was so needed. I think it was the best winter break that I’ve had in a long time, and I didn’t even do much.”