Elizabeth Khludenev ‘23
The return to full-time, in-person school after spring break has triggered many different feelings and opinions across the Close. Whether it is NCS or STA, we are all (quite ironically) learning to re-adjust to the way our schedules used to be before the pandemic. Many different factors play a role in the positions students take regarding the way our school life will look for the rest of the year.
On one hand, many students are glad to be able to finally see their friends and classmates in different cohorts and learn in real classrooms. Audrey Scott ‘23 said that returning back to school “allows her to talk to some people that she might not have seen in over a year,” and Lindsay Wiegmann ‘23 added that “even something as small as saying ‘Hi’ to someone in the hallways adds to the joy of finally being on campus.” Other than social interactions, many students have expressed that they find it much easier to pay attention when they are sitting in an actual classroom and can talk with their teachers freely rather than through Zoom. In fact, an STA student Holden Lombardo ‘23 stated that he found himself “understanding new topics more easily” when he returned to in-person learning. Overall, the ability to interact with more of their classmates and learn in a regular environment gives students what STA student Teddy Palmore ‘23 calls “an increased sense of normalcy” which, in turn, augments excitement about going to school and learning each day.
On the other hand, a harsher reality hits when many students realize that they feel exhausted after an entire day of academics and sports. Caitlin Hollingshead ‘23 said that she “takes a nap when she gets home from school because she is so tired.” This has been felt by many other students as they transition from hybrid learning to attending classes full time. Walking across campus from class to class surely takes more energy than sitting at a desk and clicking through Zoom lessons all day, especially when there is no week-long break in between, so these sentiments make sense. Jane Puryear ‘23 additionally explains that she “is exhausted either way, whether she is on zoom or in-person.” Whether it is on the same level as Zoom fatigue or not, the in-person schedule is affecting students’ overall tiredness after each school day, but these transitional side effects will surely wear off as we get back into the groove of (almost) regular school.
No one feels only one way about full-time in person learning. While the pros of finally seeing our friends and being in helpful learning environments help us to find joy in our everyday academic lives, downsides like the endless after-school fatigue remind us that this transition is not perfect. Regardless of these sentiments, it is at least encouraging for us all to know that a return to full-time school hints at a long-awaited end to the pandemic and a return to a life resembling the one we knew before the Spring Break of last year.