By: Alec Eskin
This school year has been none like any other, especially for the upperclassmen like myself. Even since COVID-19 shut down school in March last year, no aspect of life has been the same. School has been virtual, asynchronous, synchronous, hybrid, you name it the form of schooling has change in a lot of different ways. Students and teachers have had to make a lot of adjustments in this format. Teachers with the way they taught and students with how to do their homework, time management, and studying as well. I am currently a junior in high school, which some will argue that it is your most important year. There is deefientely a lot to say about this year and I will be getting into my personal experiences as a junior during this pandemic.
There are both positives and negatives to being virtual and hybrid. I myself have been virtual for pretty much the entire year (however I do plan on going back in soon and I went in one day). What I have found is that I like that I can an extra hour of sleep. That has helped me to do my work more throughly. Also, I have some more time to do work and other things because I do not have to drive to and from school and not have to walk to another class. Most of the positives have to do with saving time and sleep. Also, when I am taking tests, I feel more clam because I am in an environment that I am most comfortable. Then, it is easier to research the subjects in my core classes because I have all of my resources at my disposal. I can do research for studying or to do a project. Lastly, the schedule can be positive or negative, depending on how you look at it. For me it gives me some consistency and allows me to settle into a rhythm. I can expect for each week what is coming on what specific day which helps put me at ease.
As much as I love staying at home, there are a lot of drawbacks. First off, I am taking three AP classes and four in total and they are much tougher virtual. This is because I have to be more independent with doing my homework and learning the subject. I have less time each day to meet with teachers and it is hard to ask for extra help with that small amount of time. Then, I am less focused at home than at school. I will admit that I do use my phone sometimes during class because it is hard sitting in front of a monitor mentally all day. I can also watch YouTube as well. This I feel like has definitely hurt my grades this year along with a larger work load. After that, the schedule can be negative some times, while it is positive at other times. The schedule can mess me up with my AP classes. For example, on E day classes, I will have trouble remembering what we learned on Tuesday and applying to class on a Friday. Then, with my F day classes, I do not see those teachers for 4-5 days, so I find it kind of hard as to what we learned last class. Also, on the Friday schedules (when we have a five day week), I find it tough to adjust from classes ending at 1:50 as opposed to 12:48. The reason for this is that I like a break in between the end of the school day and lunch and learn.
Overall, what I have found is that there are two sides of the coin to person and virtual learning. I have to give credit to the teachers and the high school administration for being able to run things as smoothly as possible. The organization on Schoology, taking tests, knowing about homework, and when to turn them in, it has been a smooth ride and I have encountered almost no problems. This school year and what everyone around the world has to do is something that nobody asked for. One thing that I have realized is that online school might become more prevalent in society as some people really like this format. However, people, like myself, tend to learn better in person. All of the schooling over the past calendar year may spell that future of education or it may not. But we shall see what the future hold and hopefully next year everyone will be back in school and learning in person.