The New Norm: Students use new school year as an opportunity for growth


Korissa Smith

Junior Island Lanos, sophomore Ahnyra Kyles and sophomore Sam Meyer coming back from exercise walk in gym

Korissa Smith, Editor

Life as we know it has been on stand still for the past three years, but it is now time to move forward.
We are back in school! The quarantine is over and students are once again filling the halls of GCAA and breaking new ground in their social and personal lives.
While there is much excitement over this, it is not easy being back in school after such a long period of quarantine,
Some students have admitted that being back has been hard to manage.
“ I have to wake up around 4:30 am and get up, come here everyday and this is definitely tiring me, mentally and physically, ” said junior Laqualin Taylor. “To be for real [what makes it the most tiring is] the stairs really, and getting assigned work a lot – on top, on top, on top of work – is also something that is straining.”
The workload is an important adjustment that needs work but it is also the new faces and new environment that proves difficult to some,
“Being around people [in school] for so long and like [the] new people and [the] new energy is draining to me when I get home,” said junior Mya Robinson.
But despite this, many have reported that COVID-19 and being back in school has driven them to be more productive.
“COVID motivated me to do a lot of things, ” said junior Terrianna McNeal. “I write – I’m a writer so I write a bit more and I’ve been working on my singing and a little bit of my acting. And a lot of college work. I’ve been looking into all the colleges I want to go to and scholarships and grants and stuff that I can receive.”
Others have found COVID-19 to be a time where they’ve improved mentally saying that they have more self-confidence,
“I developed more too,” said junior Sean Saville. “I don’t really care as much about what other people think and things like that. I just come to school, hang out with my friends and do stuff like that.”
Then some students find that they are in between,
“I think [I am] kind of middle [with how I feel about my changes during COVID-19] because my parents don’t like me playing [a lot of] video games but they’re really happy that I got to learn how to like – I color more and got more creative over that, so it’s a little middle,” said sixth grader Isabella Meyer.
For students, it appears that through the struggle of COVID-19, this has been a great period of growth and new connection for many.
“Everyone is more interactive now because we came out of online learning and it’s like everyone is trying to connect with each other,” said Taylor.
Quarantine is over but there is still more ground to be broken. A new school year seems like a great start.