A Seniors perspective on how this first semester has been back at TJ in person.
I never thought that I would worry about not getting to experience my senior year. Based on the shows and movies I had watched as a kid, I thought my only worries about my senior year would be not finding the perfect prom dress or the college application process. These were simple problems that could be fixed with hard work and time. The problems that arose during my junior year were not of the simple kind. COVID-19 came and flipped my views on high school. I always dragged my feet going into the building, not looking forward to the seven and a half hours of learning to be done, yet this was better than having to look at a screen for that long. Do not get me wrong, at least I did not have to change out of my pajamas and simply put my computer on my lap while I lay in my bed. That aspect was not all that bad. However, coming back to school this year for my last year of high school, I recognized how much I really missed seeing the people who go to this school. During the pandemic, the only people I really kept in touch with were those I was extremely close with. My closest friends were the people I saw right after the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) allowed us to see people outside of our households and the people I continued to see and did online school with until we returned back into the building in the 2021 fall semester.
The weirdest feeling that I think I have ever experienced was when I walked back into the school this semester for the first time. I had been in the school for the end of the remote learning when we were in the building, but I was in a room with only about two to five other students. Returning to the building with the 1,400 other students was a big, and honestly, happy shock. Not only was I surrounded by more people than I had been in a long, long time, but everyone was covering their face. I saw over 1,000 people’s eyes and foreheads, not their whole face. I could still recognize the people who I have been going to TJ with since freshman year, but even they changed, so did I and so did the school. Everything really changed.
The hardest part of the change was having to come back with a full schedule and the fact that as a senior my main focus was my future after high school. With the pandemic still happening I was not able to travel and I was not able to travel for college visits. Honestly, I struggled with finding schools because of this. I got an alright image of the school based on their website, however, it is really not the same as being able to walk the campus and get information from students and staff. So once the semester started and schools started reaching out more and more, I was able to visit one school and this changed my whole perspective of what I really wanted in my future school. Everything I thought I wanted in a college was thrown out the window, along with all the other colleges that I thought I would want to attend. This made the college decision difficult but at the same time easier because I quickly realized that is what I wanted. I knew all I had to do was get through the last school year and that is easier said than done. Senioritis is a real thing people. All I have keeping me going is the fact that I will have fewer weeks of school than the other grades and that I will be somewhere new soon. So far this year has been extremely weird, not being able to see people’s full faces has an interesting effect on my education. I know that it will not be going on for much longer and that I should be enjoying it as much as possible, to a safe extent of course.