Students are back to school in-person, 5 days a week (excluding remote students, who still log into zoom meetings during class time.) I am currently attending school in-person, and thought I’d offer a personal account of the experience. Here are my personal thoughts and my own first-hand experience during the first week of school, back in full session.
Because of MLK weekend, students didn’t return to LHS until Tuesday, January 19th. I was in a rush and didn’t get to my first class until 7:44 a.m.: exactly a minute before starting time. As I was running up the stairs in a hurry, moderately stressed out, I completely forgot there was going to be nearly double the amount of students than before. I was aware of the new bell schedule, along with my change in classes, but for some reason it didn’t register to me just the amount of students that were going to be at school.
As soon as I walked into my first class, I was taken by surprise. Then I remembered, “oh yeah, everyone’s here.” It was odd, to say the least, to see a normal-sized classroom full of students, which I hadn’t seen in so long. I took my newly assigned seat and immediately looked around, observing the room. It felt crowded, even though the seats were still spaced out fairly evenly. I have a relatively small class first bell (math), so it’s easier to social distance. For most classes, desks are no longer six feet apart. However, it does depend on the number of students in the room. It baffled me to think about how close to each other we used to sit just a year ago – with no masks and no six foot spacing. It feels like a completely different way of life now. Even though we were wearing masks, it felt strange to sit so close to one another.
After math, I made my way to my second bell class, which is English. The hallways are significantly more crowded than before, as one could expect. Not only are they tight, but they can be incredibly slow moving. With more people, there’s less of an organized system in the hallways. It’s not uncommon to bump into the person next to you or find yourself stuck in a traffic jam. (Friendly PSA, if everyone walked on the right side of the hallway, things would be MUCH more efficient.)
My English class is larger than my math class, both in number of students and classroom size. I’ve found the teachers try to make use of any extra seats to spread things out a bit more. However, some classes are simply packed with students. When it comes to social distancing, there isn’t much teachers can do.
Due to the amount of students in the building, the high school now has three lunches instead of two. I have second lunch, in the middle of my study hall. In the senior section, three students sit at each table instead of the previous two, and there is no longer plexiglass dividing tables in half. Because of the change in lunch schedule, school at LHS now ends at 1:40 p.m. – five minutes later than the previous time.
After school, the parking lot is a struggle. Because there are so many cars, it takes more time for everyone to get out. I’m lucky enough to have a parking spot. However it is all the way in the back row of the lot. Due to the volume of traffic, it takes me about 20 minutes just to back out of my spot.
These are just a few of the biggest changes I noticed resulting from the new school schedule during our first week back. I want to end this article on a high note of what I took away from it. As I mentioned earlier, because of the pandemic, it feels like an entirely different way of life now than it did just a year ago. We, as a collective, are so adaptable to change, that what used to be normal can suddenly seem foreign. The changes we, as students, have faced within the past year have been hard, for some more than others. However, we’ve been resilient, and I hope we continue to be resilient to end the school year stronger than we were before.
Julia Quigley is a senior at Loveland High School and regular contributing student reporter for Loveland Beacon online news.
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