The 2020-2021 school year started in a way nobody could have imagined a year ago. Over a summer break marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lincoln-Sudbury students wondered if they would even get to step foot inside school this September. Freshmen in particular had lots of questions about transitioning to a new school while in a mostly-remote environment. We decided to get inside the minds of L-S’s newest students.
Out of the fifteen freshmen we interviewed, all of them were participating in L-S’s hybrid plan. We asked them what they were most excited about in coming to high school. Their responses included meeting new people, having more freedom in schedules, school sports, and meeting their teachers. Although all of these aspects of high school will still exist this year, the pandemic has greatly altered each of them.
In light of this, we also asked the freshmen what they weren’t looking forward to at school this fall. Almost all of the fifteen students we interviewed responded with “the online part” or “not having school or sports.” Due to the pandemic, sports are being postponed for later in the year, and rules are being modified to fit health guidelines. And for the first time ever in the fall, students are meeting their teachers and peers through a screen.
“I hate looking at my computer for so long everyday,” said ninth grader Andrew Kushinsky. Managing screen time is a challenge for students, especially as homework is online as well and free blocks are less frequent. This is part of the new schedule, which stays the same from week to week.
“I’m a little confused with how things will work,” said freshman Ava Vadgama.
Despite all of these variables thrown in by the pandemic, freshmen were still simply excited to go to school, even if it was for two days a week. However, just a few days before the first day, we heard the news that we would not go back for another two weeks due to a student party. 9th graders Lili Riley, Ava Vadgama, Danielle Cohn, and Merry O’Connor all agreed that they felt frustrated when they heard the news. Since it was so abrupt and unexpected, their built up anticipation and excitement faltered.
“I was kinda bummed out,” said freshman Matt Mahoney about finding out school would start remotely. “I need to get out of the house and do something.”
“I was upset that we didn’t get to start high school in person, but I’m okay with it now,” added freshman Lili Riley.
Starting at a new school can be nerve wracking or overwhelming by itself. Now, this year, school events are cancelled, sports seasons are postponed, and clubs are looking different. When stepping into the shoes of the freshmen, it became clear that there are a number of things to look forward to at school that they might not get this year.