Through a student’s perspective: Learning in a pandemic

As we approach a year of COVID-19 spreading throughout the world, students at McNicholas High School have learned to be flexible and unassuming when it comes to what their school day might look like. Many students are doing in-person learning while some students are joining classrooms virtually from the comfort of their homes. All students at McNick are challenges while also seeing many positives and improvements of themselves during this school year whether virtual or in-person. But what are these challenges, positives, and student improvements?

While the past year has been difficult, beginning with students moving to virtual learning March 13, 2020, students are working through ways to still be part of the school community despite COVID-19. The Class of 2021 has missed opportunities such as retreats and Homecoming. Other students would say it’s harder to focus, do group projects, and get work done, while others say it’s harder to make friendships and connections with others students through physically distancing and mask wearing. “I think it’s been more difficult to make connections and form friendships with other students and teachers because of the social distancing rules,” freshman Amanda Braig said.

“I think the most difficult part of this whole thing would be being able to keep focus and be able to be mature and get your work done,” sophomore Matthew Mitchell said.

Even through challenging times and situations students find themselves improving and finding positivity in many things: Students find themselves working harder than ever, reaching for more motivation, seeking out teachers willing to help students even more than before, and finding ways to still have fun. “There are three main positive things that I can say about this difficult [year] and they are that we are able to be with our families and enjoy family time, we are still able to see our friends, and this will forever be a learning experience for everyone,” sophomore Vincent Hughes said.

“Something positive is that we get to stay at home, which is something new and different from past years,” sophomore Julia Hart said.

The Classes of 2021-2023 went into high school not knowing what it would bring them and what the outcome would be in their high school career but none of them expected there 2020-2021 school year to be like. “I never thought I’d be in this situation, but I always try to be nice to everyone and take opportunities so I felt like I got to most of what I wanted to and made best of it,” Hart said.

“I never could’ve imagined this. I think I was prepared. After about a month of online I kind of settled in,” Mitchell added.

“It doesn’t feel real that the Class of 2021, of all classes, MY class is the one who didn’t get a homecoming, and retreats have been postponed/cancelled. It feels so weird that my class will never get to experience what seems like every other class got to,” senior Olivia Rohling said.

Sophomore Ethan Gardner takes notes in his Anatomy and Physiology class. “I feel like the teachers are trying harder than ever to really make sure we the students get the most out of our schooling during this difficult time. I feel like time my time management has definitely improved from the start of this year,” Gardner said.

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