Starting the School Year Virtually

As a rising senior, this September should have included my last first day, senior night football games, and my last pep rally. Instead, my classmates and I will be spending the first three months of our senior year sitting at home in front of our laptops. I know that we all have to do our best to social distance, but nonetheless not going back to school in person is causing a lot of worry and anxiety for students.

At the end of last year, my school went online after we had already spent seven months learning at school. This made the transition to classes on zoom and independent assignments a lot smoother, as we already had a strong foundation built in each class. Furthermore, at that point of the school year, a lot of the material focused on review for finals and AP tests. This year, however, all of the material will be brand new to us. I’m most worried about taking my first physics and statistics classes, and not having any in person instruction. Learning new concepts can be a stressful thing especially if you’re learning them by yourself without a teacher. A lot of the teaching methods this year rely on watching videos or just reading the textbooks by ourselves. This can be both frustrating and stressful, because it can really easy to misunderstand and fall behind quickly. To make matters worse, it’s a lot more awkward to have to schedule a zoom meeting with a teacher for extra help rather than just asking questions in a normal class.

Additionally, most students’ favorite parts of school include sports, hanging out with friends, and other nonacademic activities. Without these activities, I think people will be a lot more lackadaisical when it comes to school work. It’s also just sad to think that we’re missing out on some of our last high school experiences. I’ve been cheering for five years now, and to miss out on those final memories makes the whole experience feel unfinished. While I’ve seen some of my close friends over the last few months, I haven’t seen most of my teammates since March. This was definitely a strange transition for me, who used to see them every day. Additionally, it’s a tradition at our school for seniors to make posters and speeches to campaign for student council positions. However, while at home there’s no speeches or posters, just a couple of emails and social media posts.

Above all, I think that everyone is a little lonely right now and missing the in-person interaction that school brings. I hope that we can at least go back for a few days soon, and that we can experience some of our senior year together as a class.