Juniors Reflect on Bouncing Back From a Virtual Freshman Year

Covid 19 caused a worldwide pandemic that changed lives. People were in lockdown, stores were closed down, and people had to be home at a certain time to control the virus going around. people were getting sick everywhere from left to right. Everyone had to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart away from each other. Schools were forced to close down and go virtual for an entire year. For current juniors, this was the year they were just starting high school. They lost that first experience of starting high school that they had looked forward to since elementary school.

By going virtual teachers had to teach through zoom which was an app that lets you host meetings with up to 100 other people. Students would log in and go to their class by tapping into a link that the teachers would provide for them in Schoology.

For some students, it seemed great, whereas, for other students, they may have struggled to keep focus through online classes. Not everyone found virtual as easy as they thought they would. The then-freshmen had a particularly tough time because they were also trying to adjust to the more difficult high-school-level coursework.

“I feel that it was a good idea at first, but as the year went on I realized that a lot of people were struggling, myself included. My freshman year was kind of ruined because of this tough transition,” said junior Braeden Christiansen.

Virtual freshman year also affected students’ learning experiences. There were many students who quickly figured out that they just don’t learn well in that particular way. Instead, they prefer in-person classes, where they can communicate with one another without the internet being in the way.

“I learn better in person because I’m forced to pay attention. Online you can do anything,” said junior Keily Pasada.

“I learn better in person because when I am in school I have no choice but to pay attention. When I am online, it’s hard to stay focused and not get distracted by phones and things like that,” said junior Ilenne Delgado.

How you learn and how you take information in can affect what you are able to understand, learn, and most importantly how your grades end up looking. Not everyone is able to learn through a screen on their computer and focus. Some people earn better grades in person. Most juniors say virtual affected their freshman year grades in a bad way.

“Yes, that year impacted my grades a lot. My grades started going super bad; my first high school experience was just hard,” said junior Keily Posada.

Learning at home can be difficult for people who have younger siblings that can get carried away at home and end up being loud. With the parents cooking, the television being on, siblings being on Zoom meeting in the other room, and even with parents having to work from home, there was a lot going on at once. It was just difficult.

“In-person school is definitely better because after going virtual, my social skills went really bad when we came back to school sophomore year. It was kind of hard to talk to people because I wasn’t used to being around that many people since before covid ever happened,” said junior Ilenne Delgado.

Most juniors agreed that in spite of their rocky start to high school, things are going much better now!