What losing in-class school has been like for students 

All grade levels have been affected by remote learning this year


Ari Harvey

Many school events have gone dark for this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Do you remember waking up in the morning and dragging your feet to get ready for school? 

What about meeting up with your friends in the hallways, listening to teachers’ long lectures, eating lunch in the cafeteria, then doing it all over again? Neither do I.

It’s been nine months since we have gone outside without the need for a mask. Nine months since we’ve had school in person. Students all across the country have lost their high school experience.

Spending their last year of high school in their own bedroom, seniors have experienced the most disappointment, losing their last memories of high school before they dive into whatever comes after. 

Having lost her much-anticipated final high school year, Cal High senior Anna Truitner describes her time in online school as “weird” and “disappointing”. Truitner was not only looking forward to school events such as prom last year and senior ball this year, but she also believes that she will never experience the closure of her high school experience that she expected to have.

Like everyone else, seniors have lost a lot because of the global pandemic. Most importantly, seniors won’t be able to look back on their special senior memories because they won’t have made any.

The sparkles of formal gowns, squeezing into a posh rented limo and dancing into the night with friends have been replaced with headaches from computer screens lights and sore legs from sitting in one place too long.

Trying on graduation gowns, adjusting graduation caps, walking up to the stage to finally receive the well-deserved and hard-earned diploma, and hearing the cheer of your family to signal the end of high school might not happen either.

This unfortunate turn of events for the Class of 2021 is a disappointment that cannot be shared by underclassmen, who still have the possibility of ending their high school years sitting safely in a classroom.

Freshmen, on the other hand, have not had the opportunity to be exposed to what high school is really like. Their only taste of high school is sitting at home staring at a screen all day. 

The Class of 2024’s high school “firsts” won’t happen for a long time. Their first homecoming dance, first football game, first high school locker, and first high school detention are all unfamiliar experiences that our freshmen haven’t had yet.

Freshmen have only felt the boredom of online learning, losing the many opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. They’ve exchanged those experiences for being put into breakout rooms with new people they are unable to communicate and connect with in the flesh.

Fortunately for sophomores such as myself, there is not much we have to miss. Our freshmen year has been experienced and although it ended too soon in March, we still have the fresh taste of what high school is like. What the sophomores are missing is the same as everyone else, just a normal school day. 

What I will miss the most about school is just laughing with my friends during lunch as we bring up each other’s embarrassing moments and inside jokes that only we can have the pleasure of being entertained by. It’s not the same over a video call. 

Luckily for us Cal high students, our school has recognized the importance of being active in school-related activities even while still being on lockdown, and have introduced options for us such as the Bay Area scavenger hunt, where students looked for many locations in the Bay Area in a race for prizes. The Grizzly Greetings pen pal activity organized by the Student Recognition Committee also paired up students at the beginning of the summer to write to each other. 

This pen pal activity sounded very fun to me, and now writing to my pen pals is a new hobby of mine. I spend once a week reading my letters, writing my responses, and learning about peers I have never met before.

Although there are many opportunities for students to participate in school events outside of school, nothing could ever replace the typical school year we expected and long for.

Online schooling has negatively changed how we will look back at our high school years and fills us with daily disappointment, rather than the standard bitter sweetness of making memories we can no longer have.