Freshman Reality

Phoebe Swetish, Staff Writer

For many high school students, freshman year is a defining time: with a new sense of responsibility and freedom, freshmen look forward to experiencing everything high school life has to offer. However, during the current global pandemic, excitement about the high school experience has been severely dampened.
To deal with Covid-19 safely, new restrictions have been set in place for all grade levels to follow. For freshmen especially, freedom has been put on hold. As one can imagine, this must be a frustrating reality for the new high schoolers. A social milestone everyone looks forward to has been turned into an isolated year of independent work. To gather more insight, I interviewed several current freshmen at SHS.
Patrick Hale remains as positive as possible this year. Although he would never risk putting himself or others in danger of the virus, he feels as though he missed out on a special part of high school: “The change from middle school to high school is supposed to be this big thing, but with covid, it’s kind of like I’m missing out on joining the school community.” Understandably, he would like to return in the spring if it is safe to do so. Continuing into next year, Hale hopes he has a chance to get to know the upperclassmen and school culture and explore the extracurricular activities SHS has to offer.
Freshman Oliver Sherman feels similar to Hale, noting that being remote was necessary but disappointing. Luckily, Sherman found ways to make up for remote learning and still have a decent freshman year, saying this year “didn’t really amount to what was expected because of Covid restrictions, but it was still pretty fun.” Sherman would be happy to return in the spring, as long as the vaccines are distributed and the process isn’t rushed. If not, he looks forward to having a typical high school experience in the fall.
SHS freshman Ethan Swetish doesn’t care quite as much as his peers about this year’s alterations. Due to covid, he started the year with low expectations and was okay with remote learning. Swetish does not like the idea of going back to school full time, saying, “I like having the Wednesdays, and two days remote makes the week feel shorter.”
With this year more than halfway complete, all SHS students will finish out the school year with Covid restrictions. While it may be too late for the seniors, hopefully, the Class of 2024 will get a shot at a regular high school experience next year.