Navigating the New Normal

School can be hard to navigate. Getting to know people, meeting your teachers, and getting a new workload are the struggles of many high school students, especially for some who started theirs during a pandemic. Not only this but students have had their high school experience changed by Covid-19. In Hartford County there were 95,162 cases of Covid-19 reported, not counting Connecticut as a whole. 

Many students, such as sophomores, struggled with the new workload. Sophomore students were freshmen last year meaning they were primarily online. Being back in the building with teachers, many students are struggling to keep organized and stay on top of their work.

Sophomore Olivia Wesfort says, “I am struggling with being back in school after 2 years; I am adjusting to the amount of work we have.”

As students try to navigate the new school climate they are struggling to find time for themselves. On top of sports and homework, getting back into a routine has been difficult. 

“I haven’t experienced a normal high school year yet and I am graduating next year,” junior Ella Robertson says.

Students are struggling to know what high school is supposed to be like: homecomings, proms, football games. They haven’t had as many experiences as others have. When students come in freshman year, they are ready to have experiences like in the movies. But students did not get that, they got a pandemic they didn’t ask for.

Many students were online last year, meaning they were not in the building at all or were rarely coming into school. Coming back to the building with so many kids can be very stressful. Hallways are crowded, more people are in the lunchroom, and more people are in a classroom. Students are not familiar with where they are going every day; they are used to being at home and not having to interact with others.

“I like seeing my friends but it makes me anxious to see that many people,” Robertson says. 

The pandemic had many effects on adults, kids, education, and even businesses. But something that this pandemic hurt most was students’ mental health. With online school, kids were not having the normal social interactions they were used to. They were struggling to get that social aspect of their life back; they not only wanted but needed it. Being on a screen all day, every day was difficult for many MHS students. 

“It took me till the end of my freshman year to actually make friends because I was barely in school,” Wesfort says.

School has been really difficult for students all over the globe. Covid-19 changed people’s perspective on life and even education. Although many struggles are coming with being in the building, students are able to have support from friends and staff. 

Covid may have brought many negatives, but even with negatives, there are positives. We learn, we grow, and we succeed. Right now may seem difficult but students are getting through it. Being back in the building makes learning a little bit more worth it. 

“The best part about being back in school is being able to see my friends and reconnect with them and also getting back into a routine,” Robertson says. “I’m much happier when I’m with friends and when I have a structured day.”

The school community may bring stress from time to time but being around friends and teachers has helped many students stay connected and bring some normality back into a non-normal year. 

As many students are trying to get back into the routine of things, they are learning from each other. If they struggle with work they ask for help, or they need to talk to someone, someone is there to help. The one thing that Covid-19 has positively impacted is the connections students are making. Everyone knows what each other is feeling, with the stress and anxiety and even some sadness that Covid has brought.

Together students are able to work through the struggles and problems they are facing on a day-to-day basis. Covid has brought so many challenges for students, becoming stuck on homework, mental health, and life overall. Even with the help of teachers they still struggle.

But together they thrive and grow. They guide and build off each other in order to get through the day. Students are learning, and learning takes time, but together they will get through it.