Photo by Megan Ingram
Walking into school is different now. Everyone has masks. There are faces you can’t perfectly recognize anymore. It’s the reality of school during COVID-19.
Emily Suyama, a Junior, came to school for the first time since March to take her SAT. She explained that it no longer feels like the charter she grew up in. “I was so excited to finally go to school again. I got to see so many of my friends that I hadn’t seen in over a year, but it wasn’t the same” she expresses. Once she got into her testing room, she experienced the way classrooms now had social distance. She stated, “It was so weird having to be so far apart. I was always used to tables having 2 or maybe even 3 people.” Emily left school that day distraught and wondering, “Is the rest of my highschool experience going to be like this? I had only really had one full year of high school during freshman year. I already lost sophomore and junior year.” Despite this feeling of loss, she continued hoping for better.
She went to school again during the first week of April to record her dance for dance benefit. She explained, “It was after school but it was just so empty. I remember students always hanging out with their friends and making plans, but now it was just there. It all just hit me and felt like a reality check of life during COVID.” Emily hopes that by next fall, some restrictions and guidelines will be lifted and that the way she always remembered high school will return. The packed hallways, smiling faces, and just being together.