Change in the Air as Students Prepare


Art/Photo by Sullivan Kolakowski

Greeted by the enthusiastic beats of drumline, students walk back onto campus for the first time in a long time.

Westley Kim, Staff Artist

   As of March 25, 2021, West High students will be able to attend class in person for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This, of course, is something monumental considering the grim nature of the year. But because of a year of online learning, students might have some trouble adjusting to their previous academic environment.

   Hana Kim is a freshman this year, so it’s her first time going on campus as a fully-fledged West High student. She explained her reasons for going, saying, “With the cases going down, being in the red tier, and more people getting the vaccine, I thought it was much safer than before and I was really looking forward to my freshman year.” Hana also expressed how being in-person would help her focus, that “doing school online has many distractions that interfere with learning and productivity, but by going in person, it’ll encourage focus and engagement.” She also addressed her feelings about the situation, expressing worry “about adjusting with a huge change like this” while also stating her excitement that “since this is my first year at West. I’m just trying to stay optimistic.” Although this is the start of Hana’s experiences at West, there are seniors going back to in-person learning as well.

   Camryn Tham (12) described how she was planning to make the transition: “I’m going to do my best to make little changes to my current schedule and make any alterations that could benefit me, like going to sleep earlier and generally taking better care of myself.” She went on to say that she also wanted to go back because “this is a chance for me to develop a broader perception for my school work, and I hope to take advantage of every new opportunity that comes with blended learning in order to fill the rest of my senior year with good memories!” However, it was one of her priorities to stay safe at school: “I’m fearful of the risks that come with interacting with large groups of people, which make me want to take a bigger precaution with how I go about coming back.” Nonetheless, she wanted to return to school: “I would have never imagined my senior year to end like this, it was something that had excited me and truthfully, I was disappointed with the turn it took. However, now that we are given the opportunity to spend two days a week in person, I’m motivated and excited to make the little time we have left to create a great senior year that could fulfill the hopes I still have for it.” 

   Even though going back to in-person learning might be a rough adjustment, both academically and emotionally, it’s still a great opportunity for some students to fulfill their expectations for this year.