This school year has been tough since students have had to stay online, but imagine being new to the school and having to adjust while staying online. That’d be pretty tough right? Freshmen at South Lakes have had to work hard at adjusting to high school online.
Desiraye Payne-Nash is a freshman at South Lakes shared that school has been difficult since it’s online. She said it felt like she is just always moving on to some more work, “I personally feel like I didn’t adjust, I just felt like I moved on to something with more work since I’m online.” Payne-Nash declared that going to school in-person this year would make a huge difference for many reasons. She said she would know her way around the school, she would get used to the environment, and she would do better education-wise. Payne-Nash shared, “It’d be a huge difference. I’d know where my classes are and get used to where everything is and the environment. When I go back in March, it’s gonna be different and stressful because they have to be even more careful with COVID-19.”
With the situation students are stuck in at the moment, it adds more problems such as not being able to join clubs as easily, not being able to make friends, and not being able to know their way around the school. These can impact a freshman’s start to the school year by having them struggle academically and socially. Next year, the freshman won’t be as comfortable as needed because of their first interaction with the school being online. They will not only struggle now, which means this will end up affecting them in the future.
Many students described feeling overwhelmed by homework. Not knowing the teachers or building can contribute to this stress. Freshman, Angelina González explained, “The hardest part was just not being able to go to school because I’m more of a physical learner and I need someone physically there with me to explain the criteria to me so I can fully understand.” She added, “The easiest thing about online school was being home and having my own routine going on.”
González thinks that school may move smoother this year if the teachers understood why students feel pressured into participating, especially since some teachers put participation points in grades. She also added that teachers should be more considerate of the amount of work they hand out, especially since students already sit in front of a computer screen for seven hours. “If they understood why we don’t turn on our mics because sometimes we have personal things going on at home and we may not feel comfortable turning it on which is something,” she said, “I wish they would try to understand…Sometimes it can be overwhelming.”
According to studies, grades have also gone down ever since online learning has started. Camila Ytriago talked about how their grades lowered a bit this year, because they’re the kind of person that needs to be working in a classroom environment so that they can stay motivated. They explained, “For starters I’m a person who has to put a lot of effort to concentrate on something I’m not really interested in, so I often get distracted in the middle of class or zone/blank out because I’m not in an actual ‘learning environment.’ I feel like some classes I really could have a high grade but I don’t because it’s the online environment or the teacher teaches in some weird ways.”
Most freshmen struggle with the amount of work they’re given and the adjustment they’ve had, even in typical circumstances. Combining adjusting to high school and adapting to online learning means these students are left feeling very overwhelmed.