Back to “Normal”

Caden Petty, Staff Writer

  The past 16 months has brought changes to every aspect of our lives, but most notably the effect on schools has been drastic. We went from loud, crowded hallways and barely being able to find a seat at lunch, to staggered passing periods and two or three people per table. Not to mention the portion of students that were absent from the scene due to the virtual option. But this year, everyone is back in person, and the COVID safety measures have (mostly) been lifted. It’s been quite an adjustment so far for my peers, especially as a large portion were virtual last year. 

“I was sleeping in until 9, going to school from 10 to 11:30, then having the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. It was amazing. Now I wake up at 6:30, arrive at 8, and by the time I make it out of the parking lot it’s about 4:30 and most of my day is already used up,” senior Caelyn Boyer said. 

Finding time to do all the hobbies we all picked up to fill our free time during the pandemic is now an impossible task. Now, our evenings consist of homework and trying to squeeze in as much sleep as possible.

“I had gotten so used to consistently only being around about 10 people max during COVID because of virtual school. I’m not necessarily the biggest ‘people person’ so I loved this, of course. Now that everyone is back in-person for school, I’m around about 3,500 [people] four times a day, five days a week, every week. Still getting used to this and want to go back to virtual in all honesty,” senior Emma Butler said. 

I think most of us have gotten used to being around smaller groups of people, and the leap from a couple people at a time to a couple thousand is stressful. I completely forgot what it was like during passing periods and how packed the cafeteria was during lunch pre-COVID restrictions. Based on the flow of the hallways, it’s safe to say most of us did. But, not everyone has dreaded the return back to school.

“My classes last year had 10 to 20 students in them, normally less with absences due to quarantine. Now my French class has, like, 35 people in it. I forgot how it felt to be in a class that didn’t have more empty seats than filled ones. It’s honestly kind of refreshing to get back to something similar to life before the pandemic,” Senior Camille Standfield said.

There are the upsides to coming back. Like Standfield said, it is a refreshing experience, despite how comfortable we all got with our quarantine lifestyles. Before long, we should all be used to following our new schedules, managing our time better, and being around massive amounts of people daily. Then we can just focus on surviving until summer starts again.