"Nothing Will Make it Feel Like it did Last Year" Can We Make School Feel Like School Again?

We can all agree that Coronavirus has taken a lot from everyone this school year. Globally, people have been affected in so many ways big and small, and one of the largest changes that have affected not only teachers and students specifically at Chaparral High School but all around the world is the way we now do school. “Everyone talks ab

out how your senior year is supposed to be one of the most relaxing, fun years of high school, that’s the furthest thing from true for this year, we have to adapt and relearn the entire education process for all of us, we are also missing out on all the fun activities of senior year, we did not get a last homecoming, it is questionable if we will still get a prom,” says Morgan Sidener ’21. Most students like Amelia Shoe ’23 miss all the exciting events that not only students love, but teachers as well. “Homecoming mostly or playing a full basketball season and being able to manage the football team,” Shoe Says. “Being at school in general got taken away which was hard because that’s the whole part of the fun in school”. If you were a student that went into the Chaparral building for those first months of the school year, you remember that the stimulating energy that surrounded everyone was utterly absent; like it ceased to ever exist. The feeling of walking into school and seeing all your friends in the morning before first period, or the loud cafeteria noises of everyone enjoying lunch with their friends, or even seeing your friends in the hallway and waving to them; those were the little things that we all looked forward to and all took for granted. This school year is so different from all the rest and it is still something students and teachers are trying to get the hang of. It has been stressful, demanding, and has exceedingly tested the student in us.

Now that school is back to Hybrid for the first time in four months, we now have to reestablish yet another routine and schedule. Most students are happy to be back to school again and actually get a bit of human socialization. Some students hate that they’re back and some are right in the middle of how they feel, like me. “I don’t necessarily like coming back”. Katherine Price ’22 says. “I have found that during online learning that, while I may not be in the essential environment for classroom learning, I have allowed myself to develop the skills I need to be successful on my own,” Price explains. “The thing I miss most about normal school is the communication aspect of it, I miss classes where I could talk to my friends and just have fun, It made school one hundred times better,” Sami Lawrence ’22 says. “I miss the school events, I am involved in poms and I miss being able to make all those memories. I definitely took for granted being able to have the pleasure of going to school,” Lawrence says. Most students feel that this school year is just so dissimilar from any other school year that we can’t actually do anything to make school feel like the way it did. I recently did a poll on Instagram asking students if they thought school could change back to the way it was. A majority of students here at Chap feel that we should accept that school is different for now. “I honestly believe that things are just a lot different since there are a lot of new health concerns and a lot more people are either very safe about it or not very safe and everything is just a lot different now and there’s not much we can do to change it” Rose Winter ’22 points out. “I think since none of the other parts of our lives are normal, school shouldn’t be normal either” Holden Debord ’22 states. “So since there is nothing we can do, accepting it is really the only option,” He says. Cade Croissant’22 says, “I feel like there are ways to make it feel closer to normal but nothing will make it feel like it did last year or years before”.

We all miss the way school used to be, and this is a pretty perfect example of not knowing what you have until it’s gone. No one would have seen school go from raising your hand in class to raising your virtual hand on a google meet or go from pairing up into groups to the teacher making breakout room groups. Our teachers used to have to raise their voices

for their students to be quiet, but now they’re begging us to unmute ourselves and turn on our cameras. The way students and teachers view school has no doubt changed. Yes, Covid has changed a lot around here, but remember students of Chap, whether you like it or not, we will all remember this year way down the road from now and it is up to you to decide how you want to remember this school year. There is so much negativity and maybe for you, it's time to start seeking the positive and I promise you it's there. Right now, maybe it is best to accept where we are and have hope that this will not be forever, and maybe we’re closer than we think.

Story by Hannah Trollope '22