Students reflect on past year


Marissa Lammie

The 2020-2021 school year was defined by several modes of instruction, mask mandates and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, students are eager for summer to finally arrive. While impatiently awaiting for that final bell to ring, students should also take time to reflect on the days they have spent both online and in-person this year. 

“Overall this year was okay in the beginning whilst online. When I had to go back to CTC in person I started to become drained due to not getting enough sleep. I think transitioning from online to in-person was difficult for me,” junior Norina Baker said. 

Being online was a challenge for a lot of students, but it also taught them to become more independent and encouraged students to learn to take advantage of the technology available to them. While being online was not easy, it was a new way of learning that students might need to use in their futures. 

“The biggest challenge of online school was staying focused. When teachers let me work independently I struggled to do my assignments. I learned to stop putting work off and to get things done as soon as they were assigned,” sophomore Janey Parks said. 

Hybrid learning was another form of education this year. Many students were excited to be back in person, even if it only meant they would be in school for half the week. Hybrid learning allowed students to compare both the virtual and in-person learning styles that they have grown accustomed to this school year. 

“Hybrid learning was hard to understand in some classes while being online, but I’m really happy to be back in school full time,” junior Tory Valles said.  

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, many events students often look forward to had to be canceled. From the homecoming dance to the football game student section, students have missed out on some of their favorite memories. 

“I really missed the Winter Formal this year. It was my favorite dance because it was located in a venue that served really good food. I also spent a lot of time rekindling old friendships at the dance,” Baker said. 

Having a more positive outlook on what has occurred this past school year is important as well. First of all, the therapy dog Rosie, who was welcomed to Freedom this year, was able to comfort and bring joy to many students. Secondly, teachers changed their lesson plans and modified their classes to accommodate the challenges of being online and dealing with the pandemic. Lastly, many students who enjoyed virtual learning or needed to stay home due to the risk of COVID-19 could choose to stay virtual for the rest of the year if they desired to. 

“I decided to remain virtual all year due to the risks of COVID-19, and due to the accommodations that had to be made to go to school in person. Things like wearing a mask and glasses all day just didn’t work for me, so staying home just seemed to be the easiest option. Besides, I have had no struggles with virtual school, so I figured I might as well just stay home. I am happy to have had the option to stay home this year. While I miss going in person and seeing my classmates, I think it was within my best interests to remain home,” sophomore Mason Geibel said.

Overall, students and teachers have had to adapt to new ways of learning and socially interacting. Although it has not been easy, changes can help people to think outside the box and grow.