Students First Quarter Reflections

After a previous quarantined school year consisting of Google Meets and Pear Deck slides, the fact that the 2021-22 in-person first quarter went smoothly is nothing but mind-boggling for many. From seniors to freshmen, everyone is taking the time to reflect on school life during the pandemic, both the pros and the cons.
“Going to school in-person after quarantine is a very new experience,” sophomore Jason Wang said. “I suppose me being a sophomore and going into the school building for the first time contributes to that, but last year felt more comfortable since it was online.”
With the previous year in isolation, almost half of the Marriotts Ridge student body is familiarizing themselves with the school building for the very first time. Like Wang, it’s understandable to feel uncomfortable in this setting, only being able to recognize people based on their online avatars or their eyes above their masks. Adding to this sense of discomfort is the additional academic workload, something that was unseen during online school.
“In-person school is way more stressful than online school, probably because teachers during online school were a lot more lenient about work and submission times. But I do enjoy being able to actually talk to people,” sophomore Archisha Saxena said.
Many students find that the current in-person school is nothing but exhausting. Virtual school changed a lot of how teachers deliver the academic content and most of the student body got used to the lenient and light style that virtual education had introduced— even from the brief experience that is this year’s first quarter, the drastic changes in workload is incredibly off-putting. Even so, many students think the benefit of in-person school often takes away the stress of it, this pro being the comfort of talking to people face-to-face.
“I’m glad to be in person, especially for my senior year, because I didn’t want to miss all the events. They probably aren’t going to be big deals [the events], but they’re a chance for me to interact with people I don’t contact regularly,” senior Varsha Devireddy said.
For the upperclassmen, being in the school building in the current environment is a blessing in itself. After witnessing the previous two classes graduating in bleak circumstances, just the prospect of being able to experience those missed opportunities is incredibly relieving for juniors and seniors alike. For many, this also signifies a crucial realization: in-person school this year may not be so different from the pre-pandemic years of before.
”Comparing in-person school pre-pandemic and right now, I don’t necessarily feel like much has changed. I do believe that teachers are using more digital tools since they’re recycling materials they used from last year,” Wang said. “Of course there are masks, but I’m glad they’re here so I don’t think they change much either.”
Whether it’s pre-pandemic school or the precautionary mess of today, the inclusion of events like pep rally, school games, and prom are indications of a regular school year. As such, even though masks and hand sanitizer may have taken up a regular spot in everyone’s backpacks, there’s an overwhelming positive outlook for the many days to come. The Marriotts Ridge community will continue on, relieved about the relatively safe adventure that was this school year’s first quarter.