A New Normal: How the transition back to normal has affected the student body

Harrison Balfour '24, Photographer

Isaac Quesada

Congratulations! You have survived a global pandemic! And all you have to show for it is two years of trauma, stress and a feeling of emptiness. In early March 2020, the Corona 19 Pandemic swept through the continental United States. It affected everyone, students and teachers were in one of the groups that were hit the hardest.

It is without a doubt that the 2020/2021 school year was unique. Gordon Hudson-Nelson 24’’ was an eighth grader and freshman amidst the chaos of Covid. Similar to many incoming freshmen, he missed out on a lot of the High School Experience.

“It’s your first time in high school, first time doing social events such as Homecoming, and a lot of that experience and that part of high school is very diluted over the screen,” Gordon said.
“Even when we got to come back (to in person school), we were still wearing masks. It felt limited.”

Some students thrived during Covid and getting used to the “new normal” was quite a challenge.

“ I only got straight A’s just because the teachers didn’t even want to teach half the time.” Kaden Overton ’24 said.

For Overton, online school was easy, but with the absence of in-person school, he also lost an integral part of High School.

“School was at least most of my social interactions,” Overton said, “I would log onto school, get my stuff done, then log off at 12.”

Now that quarantine has ended and we are four years into the pandemic, many emotions towards Covid are mixed. The Global pandemic left many feeling melancholy and hopeless, but now, it seems to hardly affect our lives anymore.

“I think for a lot of us, (covid) was that pause that made us realize what we value most.” English teacher Elizabeth Lulis  said.

Lulis added she is among those who have a more optimistic recollection of Quarantine.

“We were extremely blessed that no one in our family got seriously ill,” Lulis said, “So it was really nice to have us all under one roof.”

With the world returning to a new status quo that is reminiscent of pre-covid days, some may feel a longing for the simplicity of quarantine.

“How beautiful the time was when we literally had dinner together every night as a family,” Lulis said. “My husband got to work from home, which had never happened before. So, you know, for us just our little foursome to be together I think matters the most.”

Many student’s performance in school diminished over online school due to difficulty in understanding the subject matter through screens.

“How you did over online schooling, depends on the student,” Lulis said. “For some students, you have to learn more autonomy. And so if they were able to self motivate and coordinate their schedules and plan, it went really, really well.”

For the students who struggled throughout lockdown, the return to in-person school was warmly welcomed.

“I think for a lot of us, (lockdown) was that pause that made us realize what we value most,” Lulis said.