BY CAMERON CAMMACK
As we near the finale of the school year, students are anxiously waiting for that final bell to ring on the late May afternoon. This school year has been a challenge for everyone involved due to the circumstances we’re currently learning amongst. At Truman, all hybrid students have recently returned to in-person school giving everyone a sense of normalcy once again.
For the first time since March 2020, students are seeing most of their peers in class and returning to a normal learning schedule. Virtual weeks were a hardship many students had to power through but can now focus on daily school work once again. Students will also be able to look forward to seeing their friends at events that they didn’t think were possible, such as senior prom.
Throughout the long stretch of hybrid schooling, a common theme present this year is students’ procrastination habits getting increasingly worse, as there is no teacher at home holding them accountable to finish their assignments. Several Truman teachers report never seeing as many 0’s in their grade books as there is this year. However, this seems to be a common occurrence with countless students over the last year.
Now that students have returned to their classes daily for the first time since last year, it has not only raised some excitement but also a bit of concern. Many students worry about returning to school with their peers they haven’t seen since last year because of the chance of increased spread in COVID-19. While Truman proves to take many cautionary measures, it’s of course still a point of anxiety for lots of students and families.
Doing schoolwork for seven or more hours a day, five days a week, used to be the norm, but this year it’s become more of a struggle for students after having adjusted to the hybrid schedule. Virtual classes were seemingly difficult for students to learn, and for teachers to properly teach considering they cannot be at students’ houses assisting them in any troubles or encouraging students to finish their assignments. Online schooling has not only raised concerns to parents and administrators across the country but also to students as they worry about passing their classes virtually.
Many sources have stated that the pandemic, and consequently virtual learning, has negatively affected students’ academic achievements as well as their mental health. The pandemic overall has had negative effects on students’ academic success, so the fact that our school is returning to more normal schooling will allow students to look forward to learning normally once again, potentially leading to improvements to students’ mental health. Statistics will hopefully show positive changes within the next few months and into the next school year since many students begin returning to school.
The Daily Orange discusses the many factors of virtual learning that may add stressors or anxiety to a student’s learning as opposed to regular. Lacking face-to-face or social interaction is the biggest impact on a student’s academic performance as well as their mental health. Not seeing our peers IRL has dramatically affected students’ success during this school year. Increased screen time, lack of flexibility from teachers to students, and having to keep up with back to back Zoom meetings, are all things that The Daily Orange has discussed as being points of anxiety for students, as well as the increased amount of mental health struggles that virtual learning may have brought along.
As schools return to all IRL classes, students can look forward to learning as they once did and not having the anxieties brought upon by online classes. As most students at Truman have returned to school normally, students can begin to look forward to more (safely held) school events as Jackson County has eased some COVID-19 restrictions. Seniors who hadn’t expected to experience typical end-of-high school events are now eagerly awaiting prom night on May 1st and a banquet nearing the end of the school year. The announcement of these events has created lots of excitement from the senior class for almost the first time since last March before everything had been canceled.
As the school year wraps up students can anticipate a somewhat normal closing to the school year with their peers alongside them in class. This is exciting for many students as they can finally see many of their classmates once again and return to a normal school schedule once again and begin to plan end-of-the-year festivities. Much of the anxieties about being able to finish assignments and passing classes have been lessened now that we’ve returned to school completely. Soon enough, students will be able to anticipate a return to a normal school environment that we once had, along with regularly scheduled school events.
It’s hopeful that we can anticipate a normal school year with learning amongst and seeing all of our friends and peers. A constant conversation that surrounds daily life is how soon things will be normal again, and the 21-22 school year can hopefully bring us closer to our pre-quarantine lifestyle.