Return to In-Person School


This week was one like no other. This week changed the normalcy of remote learning. For the first time since March 13 students were allowed to step foot in school again. Although our school wants to receive some type of normalcy during these unpromised times, we are close yet so far from it. This is how my first day back to school went in Cohort A.

I woke up at 7 a.m. to the sound of my alarm blasting music at the highest volume possible. I rolled out of bed uncertain of my emotions for the rest of the day. I then got changed into a sweatshirt and shorts, unmotivated to wear anything nicer. I brushed my hair while getting a nervous feeling in the stomach for the day ahead of me. No student knew what to expect going back to iniperson learning during a pandemic.

It was a feeling of uncertainty of how things were going to go. After I brushed my hair, I ate a full meal for breakfast, knowing I wouldn’t be able to eat for four hours. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and received a text my friend was here to pick me up. In a rush, I grabbed my mask and backpack, which only had my computer, computer charger, and extension cord for the day. Would I even need a pencil? I thought to myself. Will teachers even hand out papers? As these thoughts pondered in my mind, I rushed out the door, avoiding the “first day of school picture” my mom always forces me to take. 

As I got into my friend’s car with three other girls, everyone was on the same page with their thoughts on the day ahead of them. Some people said they were nervous, others added they weren’t looking forward to it, others were happy to just be going back.

When we arrived at school we pulled into a spot and didn’t rush to get out of the car. We put on our masks then walked to the junior entrance, which was by the cafeteria. On the ground were white V’s painted six feet apart that we were instructed to stand on as we waited to go in. The student line was wrapped out the back and went to the side of the school. Standing there surrounded by people I haven’t seen in months put me in a good mood for the day. Although we were six feet apart wearing masks, it felt really relieving to feel a sense of normalcy again, even if it meant we needed to follow restrictions.

 As 8 a.m. approached, the teachers began to let the students into the school. Before we were allowed to step foot into the building, teachers had to take our temperatures and make sure a parent or guardian had filled out a Covid form for us. As we were let into the building one by one, we looked around examining the newly renovated school we haven’t seen since March. I peeked into the cafeteria only to see separated desks instead of lunch tables. In every room the desks were so spread out and it felt like no one was there. As I found my friends, we wandered around the halls for a little. It was hard to grasp the feeling of what it was like to be back.

 As 8:30 approached we were told by teachers to start to get to class. My first class was photography with Shack. There were six people in my class spread way more than six feet apart. We thankfully didn’t have to log onto the Google Meet because we’d be going outside to take pictures. The morning announcements startled me as they began. How weird it felt to hear the sound of the loudspeaker. It’s the little things students have taken for granted. 

When 9:30 hit, the bell rang and I headed to the gym. Seeing your peers in masks felt so normal walking through the halls. I arrived at the gym and we were instructed to sit on the bleachers. The gym teachers announced we would not be using the locker rooms for the time being which was weird to think about. We weren’t allowed to have anywhere to put gym clothes or extra sneakers. We then walked around outside for the remainder of the period.  

After gym class, I headed to math where it was the first time going on a Google Meet while being in class, which didn’t thrill me. My computer was already dying although I barely used it. As I put my AirPods in, and logged into the Meet the lag was bearable, but annoying to hear for an hour. It felt like being at home again. Everytime I heard the teacher talk in person, it lagged on my computer a moment later. To be honest, it was distracting for me to be on the Meet while the teacher was trying to talk. Even though it wasn’t my ideal way of learning it, it was good enough for the circumstances of the time being.

My next class was Environmental Science. We walked in and were told each person gets their own lab table because there were only five of us. This class had my friends in it, so it was a good end to my day. We worked in groups, while maintaining six feet from one another. It was enjoyable to have some in-person interaction with other students. As the end of the day came upon us quickly, we packed up our bags and wiped down our table and chairs. The bell rang and everyone headed at the door at once. My first day of in-person learning was over.

Although this experience was one like no other, I personally like going back to in-person school. There were cons but I looked past that. After months of being stuck at home, seeing people is what really made me happy. I liked meeting my teachers and getting them to know them personally, which was something I was unable to do at home. In-person school may take time to adjust to, but the feeling of normalcy was something to look forward to.