My Perspective on COVID19 and School

As I begin school as a senior in the class of 2021,  I feel the need to speak on behalf of students everywhere whose school life has been turned upside down by Covid19. A voice for those younger than me as well as my peers.

My hope is to provide answers to questions that students quite frankly haven’t even been asked.

A bit of insight…

What does it feel like being the first-ever group of students to enter a school year knowing absolutely nothing about

  • How things will go

  • Or how things will end

To be honest with you, it sucks. This whole situation, for lack of better words, sucks.

Covid19 and school

The Haves and the Have Nots

I won’t get to HAVE my last “first day of school.” 

Kindergartners won’t get to HAVE their first “first day of school.” 

Let’s not forget 2019-2020’s fifth-graders and eighth-graders.

Just imagine how it feels to not HAVE hugged your friends as you moved to your next academic milestone.

Starting middle school or high school “Virtually or in a limited in-person capacity”; Extremely Disappointing

Facing the next few month, of crucial academic transitioning;  none of which we’ll ever forget.

Left wondering about those experiences that we’ll never get to HAVE.

Covid19 and school

My Misfortune

I didn’t get to say goodbye to the group of kids,  I grew up with, but who just so happened to be one year older than me. I’ll probably never see most of the class of 2020 ever again cause my city is big and everyone moves on with their lives after high school.

On Friday, March 13th, 2020, I unknowingly missed the chance to hug those seniors and thank them for being the coolest group of “big kids” I’d known since the day I started Kindergarten.

Now, yearning about the experience that I missed and knowing I’ll never get a chance to HAVE that do-over.

Myself and one of 2020's graduating seniors

Whats next for 2020-2021 school calendar

Currently, students in populous U.S. states are most likely looking at a semester’s worth of online schooling for the 2020-2021 school year.

For adults, 5 months doesn’t really seem like a big deal. But for us kids it’s a significant part of the social experience that we’re missing out on. Memories with our friends that we’ll never get to HAVE.

Always on my mind daily, are concerns; things that a teenager should not have to be worrying about.

We’re still trying to figure ourselves out, and now we have to figure out how to deal with the disruption of the one thing in our lives that’s always been consistent. School.

My School Experience duing COVID19

  • I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m someone who “likes school,” but I’m not someone who dislikes it either. For starters, it’s always been a place for me to take a break from family life. For me to connect with my peers on issues that only people my own age understand.

  • I’ve always been in an academic setting where there was a teacher present to guide my learning. And it would be an understatement to say I’m simply nervous about how well I’ll able to handle a completely virtual situation for all 8 of my classes.

  • The last few months of the 2019-2020 school year were a mess, to say the least. Nearly all the seniors gave up on classes the day school let out.

  • I and thousands of other teenagers gave up once we learned that our final quarters’ grades would only count if we wanted them to.

The Simple Fact

The motivation to succeed in an online school environment  – Simply Is Not There“.

What we students need this school year to succeed

Covid19 and school

Certainly, students everywhere are going to need some serious encouragement in this upcoming year. Including support from our parents, and counselors, and:

  • big brothers
  • big sisters
  • older cousins
  • aunts
  • uncles
  • grandmas
  • grandpas
  • and anyone else who cares about us to keep us in a motivated, positive headspace.

We don’t need to be alone with our thoughts any more than we already are.

The side effects from COVID that we’re not talking

We are frustrated. And I know that’s not an excuse to be snappy or rude, but they’re both often side effects. We’re not the best at expressing our emotions in an mature manner and we need our families to understand that. 

We don’t always feel like talking. We don’t always feel like being in a room with our families. It’s not personal, but we’ve all been forced to spend a borderline uncomfortable amount of time with our family members this year, as it is. So forgive us if we’re feeling a bit burnout from seeing the walls of our home way more than the faces of our friends.

During this pandemic, a lot of the students I know have been

  • Watching way too much Netflix
  • Watching way too much YouTube
  • Spending way too much time on social media

While these things aren’t bad in themselves,  they’re constant reminders of all the great things we could be doing if not for this pandemic. They’re reminders of everything that 2020 turned out not to be.

As of now, instead of sashaying into the front doors of my high school with my besties by my side, I’ll be switching on my device and staring at the faces of my teachers for at least the next few months.

At least the past group of seniors didn’t know what was coming and got to live out about 75% of their school year. But my class and the classes below me don’t have that luxury.

We know fully well that most dances (senior prom included), social events, parties, pep rallies, sports games, and more will likely be very rare occurrences throughout the school year.  None of those events would be in the best interests of anyone during a pandemic. 

Learning Acceptance

Staying at home is truly the best option for students and faculty nationwide. And we’re fortunate to have the privilege to learn from home– something 20th-century students and some modern-day global students are able to have.

So yes, since we’re able to be taught through virtual means, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Although, I wish the members of public school boards would be a bit more concrete in the information they share about the reopening of schools.

Because all the uncertain answers they’ve provided about when, how, and which schools will reopen for public entry have honestly only made me more anxious about the whole situation. Instead of making false assurances, the boards should continue remote education indefinitely.

And above all, the nation’s goal right now should be solely on reducing the number of COVID cases. If that means keeping schools closed until January 2021 or later– then so be it. Health comes first. 

Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the greater good. If that’s the lesson we all must learn in the days of COVID19, then so be it.

Covid19 and school

Final Thoughts

Being nearly an adult myself, I’ve also taken to leading by example. Certainly, staying at home all the time makes this a bit of a challenging task, but Pingster has helped make it easier.

Instead of sulking over all the things I wasn’t able to do and all the places I wasn’t able to go, I’ve chosen to share with the world all the things I am able to do and all the places I am able to go.

And it’s been great to not only feel like a community member on Pingster but also a leader.

For instance, I know that with each post, I’m able to share an idea and some much-needed inspiration. Hopefully to some other student out there trying their hardest to keep their head up.

Moreover, my photos tell a story, each serving as a page of the teen life during a health crisis. Which is a crisis that, with any luck, will never ever occur again in any of our lifetimes.

Someone someday could even envy the simple fun social distancing has allowed me to discover. High hopes? Maybe. But I think we could all use a little optimism in our lives right now.

Check out my posts here.

Pingster Username: cierrasmith
Pingster Display Name: Cultured Simplicity