Flying Solo

As a junior in high school, I am balancing academics, extracurriculars, and standardized testing all at once. I got an email in February, saying that my test center for my SAT got moved to a smaller venue. I was relieved, because at least it didn’t get canceled. If it got cancelled, I would have been very angry, because I spent almost three months studying for this test.

Most of my friends took the October or December SAT, but I decided to wait for the March testing date because I would have both the Christmas holiday and Chinese New Year break to study. However, my parents predicted that it would get canceled in Hong Kong, seeing that the number of cases were rising.They thought it would be best for me to take the test in Australia, when in March, it was still safe from the coronavirus.

By March in Hong Kong, a lot of cleaning supplies were sold out, including masks. People were selling the N95 masks at ridiculous prices, so the only ones my family could get were surgical masks. It was really scary boarding the plane without the assurance of safety, because all the passengers were breathing the same circulated air. But when I got on that plane, I was incredibly surprised because there were only ten people in my section of the airplane. Usually, planes are always so full.

Even so, I didn’t get out of my seat the entire flight, even to go to the bathroom, because I was too scared to interact with other people.

When I saw that the College Board cancelled the March SAT testing in Hong Kong, I actually felt somewhat relieved because I was already in Australia ready to take the test. It was good that I did well on this test, because the May and June SAT ended up getting cancelled too.

The situation is getting better in Hong Kong. My school is starting the week after our AP exams, hosting half-day sessions. I’m not sure how that is going to work, but I’m excited to see my friends. Hopefully, people continue to take precautions so that we can finally go back to our “normal” routines.


Written by: Naomi Katayama

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