It almost marks exactly one year since our last day of regular classes. Unbenounced to us, students would not return for at least another year. Then, when we did return, it would be very different from how we left it. On Tuesday March 9, 2021 I returned back to school for hybrid learning after almost a year of being home. My experience has so far been very good, and I hope that this hybrid model stays in place till the end of the school year.
Although I was very excited to return to school, on Monday night I felt feelings of nervousness and anxiety. With few of my friends returning to school on my days or returning at all, I began to worry I would have no one to sit with at lunch or meet up with at the beginning of the day before classes. However, my worries eased as I walked into the building with my brother. I met up with some friends and in a strange way, everything felt normal and it was as if we never left.
My first period class only had three students total in the building. At first it was a little weird, but by the end of class we all had gotten to know each other. I struggle with my attention span, even more so at home, so I was happy to notice that I actually learned a lot in the building even within the first few minutes of class. I felt productive while taking notes and I was less confused or distracted than I typically am at home. “I think it is a great change of pace and something refreshing after this long year at home” said sophomore Megan Keating.
My biggest classes so far have only had seven people in them. It is a little weird to have the virtual students at home and us in the building but by the end of the day I got used to it. It is super nice to see acquaintances that we haven’t seen in a year and visit old teachers, and meet our new ones.
“I really like being in person because I feel more motivated and focused now that I am being held more accountable for my work,” said junior Ruby Heitman
— South Lakes High School (@southlakeshs) March 9, 2021
There are a couple of things that are drastically different this year. Those biggest changes being masks at all times, cafeteria with desks instead of round tables, outdoor eating, maximum of three people per bathroom and even sometimes being the only student in your class.
While these differences are weird, one I particularly enjoy is outdoor eating privileges at lunch. “I love that we can eat outside with our friends, but I don’t like how empty the school is. I miss seeing everyone,” Ally Kroon, Junior said. The new patio outside Door 4 is right in the sun and waiting for students to come enjoy it! It is so popular that on Tuesday at lunch they ran out of patio tables, so some of the Admin started to build picnic tables on the job! You can also sit on the staircase, and pavement leading up to Door 4. Three of my friends and I sat together on the pavement and enjoyed lunch together in the lovely weather. I hope that the outdoor seating continues in the future, even after COVID-19.
Overall, I really enjoyed Hybrid learning. I was super happy and motivated to be back in school and I can already tell that it is going to improve my mental health. I personally really like structure and interaction so full virtual was rough for me. Although my grades skyrocketed during virtual learning, I find that I am already absorbing more information and learning better by being in person. I hope everyone else who is Hybrid is also having the same good experience that I am, and if you are fully virtual I am wishing you a great rest of the year. Let’s go Seahawks!