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Shannon Wilmes continues to practice ballet by improvising a ballet bar with a chair through an online Zoom session with Melody Lane Dance Studio Thursday, April 16, 2020, at her home. Wilmes is able to continue to learn dance even though she can’t leave the house.

During this period where everyone is home at the same time, all the time, some families are living the cramped life. Though it means more family time, it seems family time may never end.

I’ve grown up in a family of eight, seven of whom currently still live here.

We all now work, study, exercise, socialize and occupy ourselves in close proximity to everyone else in the household. This leads to us holing up in any space we can find.

While my siblings and I study, my parents must also work. My mother actually just started a new job, so while she was planning on spending the next three months alone to study and train, she must instead be in the company of her children.

I’m sure she’s thrilled.

My older sister feels she was the most treacherously affected by the event, as she had to move back home from Gonzaga to be quarantined.  To continue her schoolwork, she moved into our camping trailer as a way to create her own space.

I’ve been affected considerably. Being in honors classes and involved with drama at Davis kept my schedule full most of the time. I was rarely home before 8 or 9 p.m. on any given day. So, when my schedule suddenly became completely free, it was hard to know what to do with myself. Going from spending almost no time at home with my family to being with them 24-7 was quite a jump.

Though it's a struggle, my family has a system. Both of my parents work near the kitchen, so we have scheduled times for breakfast and lunch. This helps avoid distractions while they work.

We have also set aside a large portion of the day to turn off electronics so we can stay focused on work and remain creative, productive, and active. My siblings and I are expected to complete our homework and spend some time outside every day. Nights are for family games and movies.

I know we have it easier than many large families. With my sister in the trailer, we all have managed to score our own room. Even though we may notice that the walls are thin if someone is yelling in another room (not that this happens in our house), I can’t exactly judge because I’m just as loud when I sing.

Though it can be irritating sometimes, I feel very lucky to be here with my family.

Susan Wilmes is a sophomore at Davis High School.