Anna Kruser was lifting weights in personal fitness when she received a text from her mom telling her that she had been exposed to Covid and had to go home. Seconds later, the principal, Mr. Uppena, came into the weight room, pulled her aside, and asked her if her mom already told her the news. “Yeah she texted me,” Anna said.
Anna grabbed all of her school supplies from her locker and left school. The first few days were hard for Anna because she knew that she would have to miss volleyball and homecoming week, which are two things she loves greatly. “It’s a lot harder than going to school physically, because Zoom is very glitchy and cuts out a lot. Lots of the teachers are hard to hear because it sounds so muffled,” said Anna. Anna also expressed that because of this, she started getting behind in her classes, because it was hard to follow the teachers on Zoom when they were teaching.
Anna had physically come to school every day; she might not always have had the most positive attitude when she was here, but she still loved coming to school. She got to see all of her friends and attended volleyball practice after school with all of her other teammates. It isn’t exactly a normal year, but it’s better than nothing at all.
Some students, on the other hand, choose to do online school. Whether it’s because they feel more comfortable at home, learn better online, or just like their home environment better, they have chosen to stay home during Covid. One student did online school for most of the year until recently; she has now decided to attend school in person. Her reasoning for doing online school was not the average Covid reasons. I talked a little bit about it with her and she expressed that she simply doesn’t fit in at school and just feels more comfortable learning at home. I think there are many high school students who would probably feel the same way. It might not be that they don’t fit in, but that they are just more comfortable at home, and not just because they get to sit on their couch. Many teens often feel as if everyone is watching their every move and judging everything they do, especially when it comes to their peers. “You don’t have to worry about what people are thinking about you. I felt so less pressured, which helped me focus on learning a lot more,” said the student.
Another senior, Josh Gerhards started the year virtual, but after a few weeks began coming in person. At first he was afraid of Covid, but then he felt like he was missing out on the high school experience. “I felt like I was missing out on my senior year and I missed my friends.” This is a different view from why some students don’t like being virtual and would rather come to school, even if it isn’t their favorite place to be.
Personally, I had to go virtual for a few days earlier in the year during volleyball season and I hated it. I hated missing practices and games and I felt like I was missing out on the everyday school experience. It was also really hard to follow along in a few classes because when people were talking, it just sounded like muffled voices. I don’t love school, but I prefer coming to school over virtual learning any day.
This year has definitely not been a normal school year by any means. Every school is different when it comes to their “normal” school day. Some schools are completely virtual, while others are in school or using a hybrid system, and many are being forced to go virtual. No matter what the case, all of them are just trying to adjust to this current “normal” the best they can.