Seven ate nine

‘Fresh’ out of seventh grade, how online school effected current freshmen


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As freshmen enter their fourth week of school amidst an entirely new crowd during the pandemic, they reflect on their missed experiences entering high school for the first time.

Kara Yoon, Business Manager

As schools move on from a year spent in quarantine, it is safe to say that a lot of students missed out on experiences within a traditional educational structure. Students who may have been most affected by this loss are the current freshmen.

“I think that some of our students didn’t have the full experience and the full opportunity to grow as a student within the construct of a middle school, and now they have to operate as a high schooler. I think there’s definitely a deficit there, and that the whole world experienced the same thing,” Simone Galati, former teacher and current learning instructor at Middle School South said.

Mia McHugh, freshman, says that she notices it was hard for freshmen to go from being at home as middle schoolers to in person in high school. Similarly, Connor Strauss, freshmen, agrees. He says their grade had trouble maturing because “there wasn’t as much discipline” during online schooling although teachers “did as much as they could.”

According to Galati, although she was academically “very rigorous in what [students] did to make sure they went to high school with the skills they needed,” she saw that “social-emotionally [students]were stunted” because they “didn’t have time to build relationships.”

“[High school] is definitely different, and harder than middle school,” McHugh said. “It’s a bigger school [making it] a little bit harder to get to your classes, and there’s a lot more kids.”

Although there was much to make up, McHugh says that the small amount of time that students had fully back to in-person schooling at the end of last school year definitely helped close the gap and make things a bit easier, but like most people during quarantine, McHugh says she feels like what she missed out on the most was normal life experiences.

“My only real normal year was sixth grade which was only the beginning of middle school, so I only really got a year to a year and a half of normal middle school,” McHugh said. “I think I missed out a little bit on just getting used to the whole 10 classes [in middle school], or I guess nine now in high school. I don’t think that it made it that much harder for high school, I just wish that my middle school years were more normal.”

Despite setbacks they faced due to online schooling, Strauss says that he and his friends are working to be able to find their way through high school.

“So far I’ve received the work I anticipated from high school, and it’s been okay,” Strauss said. “There were a couple moments like, ‘how does the bus work,’ ‘what is our schedule going to be,’ because I felt like there was some bad communication there, but besides that, it’s pretty much good. I think it’s a good change, it’s nice to see everybody again.”