Freshmen’s first fall

How starting high school during a pandemic has impacted the class of 2024.

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Due to COVID-19, many schools, including LM, had to begin in-person instruction later in the school year. We began the school year learning from home, in a completely different environment and learning style than we would usually be accustomed to during a regular year. Normally, we would go back to school at the beginning of September. As a freshman, the delay of in-person school has certainly made for a weird start to high school, but there are both pros and cons to the situation.
The back-to-school delay has caused many difficult social situations, especially for me as a freshman. It was hard at first to get to know my classmates and teachers through a screen, especially because there were many new faces. Some of my classmates’ zoom personalities are different than in class, so it was hard to form a true understanding of who people are. Because in-person lunch is socially distanced, it is hard to have conversations and meet new people, so I haven’t had the chance to really meet people who didn’t go to middle school with me.
Even so, it was definitely a relief to get back into school and walk through the halls freely. The first day I went back to in-person school, it felt like the first day of the school year. My teachers went over what we had to do in the classroom and how to get to places. It felt like the start of school, besides the fact that we already had work assigned to us.
However, being at home while others are in school feels different. It is often hard to tell whether your teacher is trying to talk to you or to the peoplethat are in school. I had a difficult time transitioning from having a small workload in an all-virtual format to having a larger workload, along with other changes that accompany the transition to hybrid format that I was unprepared for. The sudden need to wake up two hours earlier for a 7:30 a.m. class was a drastic change from the 9 a.m. start time of online school, and I have been very tired recently, as days where I go into school feel very long.
One upside of starting in person school later is that the holidays come quicker. We have many off-days coming up in the next two months, and this school year seems to be moving quicker than previous ones because of the easier nature of the first month and a half.
There have already been a handful of COVID-19 cases inside the district, so I think that it is not looking very promising for the district to continue in-person school through the winter, particularly as COVID-19 is projected to worsen in the colder months. Hopefully we can continue this hybrid schedule in the future, as it has helped me get to know the environment of LM and a hint of what it would be like if all were normal.