Students feel ‘off’ despite return to normal

Editorial Board

March 12, 2020, started out like a normal day, however, this day would end with schools across the country being shut down for what everyone thought would be just two weeks. This was awesome news to most; two weeks without school felt like a dream come true. However, it’s now two years later, and this was one of the worst nightmares some have ever experienced. How did something great turn awful so quick? The aftermath from all the time spent quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in an unimaginable way.

For months, questions were left unanswered with no end in sight, and no one was sure if life would ever go back to normal. Many teens turned to unhealthy habits such as not getting a good amount of sleep and doing nothing but sitting on the couch scrolling through social media all day. However, this was not the case for everyone. During the long quarantine, many people learned different hobbies such as knitting, cooking healthier foods and even exploring the outdoors. Although people were able to find things to do, there was still the factor of complete isolation from the world. So why is it that when schools are reopened and life is pretty much back to normal, people are still in an unusual mindset?

This school year already had a more positive look. School started in person, and it was almost guaranteed that Freedom would stay in school all year. It was great to think as though life was getting back to normal, but people still seem to isolate themselves and not try as hard in school. The lack of motivation has not gone unnoticed this school year. Students are able to talk one on one with teachers in order to get help, yet not very many students are taking the opportunity to do so. After school activities are back, but enrollment in these clubs and activities are less than in years past. 

While being shut down, there was nothing that anyone wanted more than to hang out with friends, family and not have anything to worry about. Now, there is an opportunity to hang out with others, but there is less motivation to do so. While people were isolated, they were surrounded by only their immediate family. They shared the same, if not very similar mindsets, so now when they are exposed to many different opinions, they have lost the ability to accept those different opinions or beliefs. This can cause problems in friendships and relationships. In order to avoid a clash of opinions, people may think that it is easier to just not communicate them at all. 

Even though people are not forced to be isolated anymore, they are still isolating themselves. This leads to a simple routine of going to school, doing the bare minimum and then going home. From having to stay home constantly, to quickly being thrown back into a world of people and days full of busy tasks, life can be exhausting. Students are overwhelmed with work and human interaction. Why would someone want to add more responsibility to that? 

Schools were shut down, but there was still the option to learn with virtual school days. These school days consisted of joining a Google Meet and doing the school work assigned. Depending on the school or the teacher, instruction may have been more strict than just joining the meet and doing the school work. After having to experience this, it is obvious that the classes that were more involved benefited the students the most. Since not every school had the same requirements, some students are now more behind than others. It was easier to cheat on assignments while not being in person, which means most kids were not doing as well as their grades may have shown. Many teachers made their tests open note so there was really no point in memorizing the information that was needed for the test. 

Has this affected students for college or further education? Freshmen this year went from seventh grade straight to high school. There is more work and responsibility, however, there was not adequate preparation for this because both the work and responsibility were lessened while in lockdown. Colleges are going to have a hard time with such a drastic difference in education levels. Students are going to have a harder time with school work, which can cause a lot of stress for both students and teachers when trying to plan for the future. 

Everyone is going through this together. Students have all experienced the same shut down and mixture of emotions. However, no one is working together to find a solution. Everyone is looking for someone to save them, but no one is stepping up and filling that role. This time is hard and life is stressful and tiring. However, it is important to get back in that habit of living a full life, because even if it is tiring right now, it could all be taken away in a split second.