Going to School When The World Stopped

My experience as a Freshman and Sophomore during the pandemic.

     I was a freshman when the pandemic started and am nearing the end of my Sophomore year as the pandemic is coming to an end. It is fair to say that Covid-19 has drastically affected my high school experience, but in what ways?

     My freshman year started off as it would any other year: I eventually learned my way around the school and made a couple new friends. First semester finals came around, and I was doing just fine. Once they were done, I was relieved and also excited, seeing as I had made it on the golf team and was excited to play.

     We started practice in the beginning of February, and by the middle of the month, I had become good friends with everyone on the team. We then had an introduction party on February 28th where I was getting even more comfortable with all of the boys golf, then a couple weeks later golf got cancelled a couple weeks later.

     By February, I knew about Covid-19 and how it was getting very serious in China but that was about the extent of my knowledge. Right before spring break, my English teacher talked to the class about Coronavirus and how there was a possibility that the school would be shut down for a couple weeks after spring break. 

     Everyone was excited for the longer spring break, but no one in our class ever thought it could become a pandemic. Yet, it was becoming more and more of a possibility as we got closer to the mandatory lockdown declaration.
    In 2019, I got my Disneyland annual pass, which we used about once every other week. When I heard Disneyland was  closing because of Coronavirus, I knew it was serious (seeing as they only closed for 3 days prior). 

     After the lockdown started, I believed, like most other people, that it would only last for a couple weeks, and I am fairly sure the school also thought this. 

     My teachers recorded videos and some held meetings on an app new to me at the time, Zoom. As the weeks went on it became apparent that Coronavirus was not stopping and that it was necessary for us to be on lockdown for the foreseeable future and prepare for what that means. 

     It was a weird time , I was optimistic that the pandemic would end soon, but it still felt weird to be kind of on vacation and still do work. Eventually finals came around and we did not do them, then it was the end of school.

     In short, the second semester of my freshman year wasn’t even a semester, the start was normal but once the lockdown neared, everything just felt in a weird limbo where it was not actually a school break but it was at the same time. 

    During summer break, I went outside for 1 hour a day to go on a walk to keep myself sane, but other than that all I did was catch up on TV shows and movies. 

     When we came back, things were much more concrete and schedules were in place; everyone had zoom meetings at designated times. During this time I really struggled with paying attention during class and zoned out at least once every class period. After a couple months, I adjusted to keeping attention but it was a struggle at the beginning.

     I chose to do everything online for the entirety of the year, and I believe that was the right decision (eventually) for me, but I was considering doing hybrid classes.  Hybrid classes would have been nice for me to keep my attention, but at the same time Coronavirus cases were peaking, so I did not want to risk it. 

     The only negative thing with online is in the beginning of the year I rarely talked one on one with the teachers and there were also a bunch of students that did not have their cameras on. So it was inherently easier to ask for help with hybrid because of the fact that you were actually present and you did not have to deal with tech problems.

     As the restrictions started to lift there were talks about starting to play golf again, this was one of the first sports to be confirmed as it is inherently built around social distancing. The only thing was everyone else started playing golf as it was one of the sports you could play during the pandemic so the prices of everything related to golf skyrocketed. I was just happy to play golf and get back into the sport.

     My sophomore year as of right now has been one that was much more difficult to be productive, difficult to participate in and more difficult altogether, albeit considerably better than my freshman year. I have only been to school six times since the beginning of the school year and every single time it felt foreign. Do I feel like I missed out on anything? Most definitely, but this will be an experience to remember.

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Judd Karn
Judd Karn
Judd Karn is the Editor-in-Chief for the Diablo Dispatch. He enjoys anything computers, graphic designing, and is an avid Entertainment writer.

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