Student Opinions on Returning to School

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Catherine Venancio, Staff Writer

Coming back to school after being away for a year had a big impact on every student, whether it was good or bad. The fear of coming back due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and everyone having to wear masks was a very frightening experience. The packed hallways, students being able to converse again, and just being back in person was a better experience for some because they missed it.

The students at ERHS were looking forward to this year, regarding the outcome of the state guidelines about COVID-19. However, it has been interesting to experience how this affects school and students. It is important to realize how this transition with masks and new rules affect students. Even though masks have been used outside of school, this is a new environment where they are mandatory and some students have difficulty going along with it. 

After such a long time in virtual school, students mostly agreed that returning back to school was the best decision for them as it allows them to have the real/better experience, and also lets them pay more attention and have better concentration.

In PGCPS there was an option of staying virtual or returning back in person. Michelle Twene, an 11th grader at ERHS mentions “I like in-person better because I prefer the social aspect.” Some students did prefer being home as well, because they had more resources. For example, Senior Hannah Sampson explains she fears coming to school because of the ongoing pandemic and cluttered hallways. “It’s scary even though I like coming to school I fear catching COVID,” she says. Sampson also mentions “it feels nice and seeing everyone.” She also stated about virtual classes, “if COVID cases spike again we will return to learning from home.” 

Overall, some students appreciate being in school rather than being at home, but many students enjoyed last year’s schedule. During virtual learning, ERHS offered its students Wednesdays off and a wellness break during the day. Students appreciated it a lot and still want it to come back. Senior Naomi explains “it was a good thing they added during this time, I wish we still had it.” Others liked coming back to school to see their peers after such a long time. 

It is nice and exciting to see the ERHS hallways again; although students don’t have many regular traditional activities, they have tried to make the best of it. Students agreed being back is a nice experience of having instead of facing a screen for eight continuous hours. Not much has changed except for strict guidelines and wearing masks.