Welcome, (Covid-1)9th graders

Starting High School Amid A Pandemic

Photo by Evelyn Bustos

Already given the task of making the unfamiliar transition from middle school to high school, freshmen are now being further “thrusted” into this darkness with online school due to COVID-19. With the expected flu season to come, we are still unsure of how much longer we will have to remain partly virtual. Even though Alief ISD has adapted to part-time a hybrid schedule of virtual and in-person attendance, many freshmen’s full high school experience has been hindered.
We often forget about the newbies of high school and how they will manage an environment new to them. For freshmen, this is the start of your path to adulthood, where you will find temporary and long term friends. Not to mention, the beginning of their journey to college. During the first semester, freshmen are introduced to things like class rank and extracurricular activities. With some individuals never setting foot in school since March, it can leave them clueless as to what to expect.
“I did expect for us to be virtual for this long just because even if schools opened up again, I don’t think I would’ve felt safe going back,” freshman Neidys Hernandez said. “And I don’t honestly look forward to going back in person next semester because learning online has become almost easier than in-person and my schedule is more flexible this way.”
“While others disagree, I’m definitely looking forward to returning to school, I think I’ll do better back in person than online,” freshman Isa Garay said. Although there are mixed feelings about returning to school, our main goal seems to be just how productive we can be with our time.
“Starting high school online was definitely a different and new experience”, Hernande said. “But I think it was a good one considering how our generation revolves around technology, so I think it just shows how even through a screen you’re capable to learn.”
Despite online school seems like such a negative occurrence, there are positives too. “Some pros being you don’t have to leave your bedroom or your comfort spot,” says Neidys Hernandez. “You can take more bathroom and eating breaks. But some cons are not being able to interact with teachers in person and making new friends is not as easy as it once was,” .
“A con would probably be that starting online gives you a false sense of everything being an option when it’s not.” Isa Garay adds, “It would have been nice to start off in person to get the whole experience”.
Overall, this may not be the desired outcome we imagined ourselves to be in but it is the only option to keep students safe. Hopefully, the freshman continue to work hard and stay resilient through these unprecedented times. There are still three years of high school left so this is only the beginning. It is imperative to make the most out of them for they can define the rest of your future.