The Covid-19 pandemic changed everyone’s lives in ways that nobody could have ever seen coming. However, students, especially freshman, are arguably feeling the greatest amount of fear and pressure this year without a proper introduction to high school. In the first couple months of high school, one would normally become familiar with their classes and with the campus. We talked to some of the freshmen about their experience during their first month of online high school, without the ability to familiarize themselves in person to M-A.
“I obviously understand the reason we’re not attending on campus classes. The risk is just too high at this point, but that doesn’t mean I’m not upset about the online school situation,” freshman Aria Sokol explained. She was very disappointed and saddened by the closing of her school last year, resulting in her eighth grade Washington DC trip and graduation being cancelled. This year, Sokol has run into multiple other challenges mainly trying to stay focused in class. “The hardest part of online school is motivating myself to complete my work on time because I am always being distracted by my loud surroundings and the people around me,” she said.
Since most students are doing their school in their bedrooms or places of comfort, it is hard to motivate themselves to do their school work. Houses are also full of distractions like TV, phones, and family. Without an in person teacher keeping you on task, it is easy to trail off and not do your work.
Although motivation and tech issues are both big problems for the students, ninth graders specifically are nervous about the lack of experience they have on MA’s campus and they have no real idea as to what to do when we go back to in person school. Ninth grader Aaron Becker expressed his concern on this issue. He says, “online school makes me more nervous because I don’t know what actual high school will be like.” Without a proper welcome to high school, the fear of being thrown into a new environment is one that is being widely felt by freshmen.
However, not everyone shares this opinion as other students are now more excited to return to real school and finally be able to attend classes at MA in person. Freshman Grace Hanna said, “online school is almost a buildup for real school, like it’s so bad that you can’t wait to go back to something you used to hate.” The lack of socializing and hands on learning has led to more excitement for the return of school. This is one reason why freshman Khayri Jett says he’s excited to finally start in person at MA, “I’m excited because I get to meet people physically and school will be much easier.”