When we all began school last fall, no one expected that we would spend our spring in isolation.
As we said goodbye to our teachers and peers on March 6, we had no idea that it would be our last day on campus for our 2019-2020 school year. Everything changes daily now, and we’ve had to adapt to so many modifications in our lives. We’ve all had to make adjustments, and we’ve all experienced disappointments throughout this experience. As students, our entire academic lives have changed. We are suddenly attending a new type of school that, while necessary, we did not choose or sign up for. Plenty of students rely on seeing their friends in between classes as a mood booster throughout the day, but now it’s hard to feel anything but alone when we’re all physically isolated. These changes are difficult, and this pandemic has had a huge impact on both our personal and academic lives.
As of May, we’ve spent approximately the last two months in our homes, trying to protect ourselves from the global pandemic that is sweeping across our world. In order to continue learning while staying safe and staying home, schools all over the world have transitioned to online school. At Hopkins, we will be completing a total of 10 weeks of online school this term. This has not been an easy adjustment for most, if not all, students. It’s new, frustrating, and overwhelming sometimes.
This new way of learning is difficult. We’re no longer in the classroom, face-to-face with our teacher and peers- Instead, we spend our days on Zoom calls and doing online assignments. Teachers now have to rely on new teaching methods such as EdPuzzle or other online activities to help us gain the knowledge that we need for our classes. These methods are the best that we have to work with right now, but it can still be difficult to retain information when you’re not in a classroom. While the stress of finals has been removed, our homework limits have been raised to two hours per class, giving us more work to complete on a daily basis. This new work limit can be a lot to complete, and having much more work each day can be exhausting for students. It adds a lot of pressure to an already stressful time in our lives.
Although there are some hurdles for us to get past, there have also been some benefits to this new form of learning. We have been able to get a little more sleep every night without the daily commutes that Hopkins students normally make. There’s also more time at home to build on skills and hobbies, maybe even try something new, as well as the ability to spend quality time with our families or virtually check in with our friends. All of these things seem fantastic, but sometimes it’s hard to even find the motivation to try something new or to even do a workout in times like these.
We all have faced disappointments and loss during this, even in small ways, and it’s not easy to get used to. There have been plenty of cancellations and changes to deal with. We all looked forward to many spring events at school, especially the seniors. The Class of 2020 has had to give up many of the big senior moments that they were looking forward to. Their final sports season, Graduation, Prom, and Prize Day have been taken by COVID-19, which cannot possibly be an easy thing to deal with. This is a time of uncertainty and loss for all.
With school coming to an end, we’re left to wonder what is coming next for us. No one knows how things will play out, or even if we will be returning to school in the fall. This is out of everyone’s control. We have to remain hopeful, but not overly optimistic. We need to be realistic, but not give up hope completely. Whatever does happen, we will find a way to get past it. Even in these difficult times with everything in our personal and academic lives being different from one minute to the next, the Hopkins community continues to try and solve each problem as it arises; we will be okay.