Freshman Perspectives at SEA
by Itzmali Vasquez
The pandemic affected a lot of people’s daily lives. One of the groups most affected by the pandemic were students, especially the ones after quarantine ended and returned to in person learning at school. Incoming freshmen have never experienced a high school environment, in addition to not being on a campus in nearly a year and a half.
We surveyed freshmen at Southeast Academy on why they wanted to attend and what their expectations were. Student responses varied from wanting more structure to improving themselves; some even expressed interest in military and /or law enforcement. We surveyed them on their thoughts and struggles coming into a high school environment and how COVID affected them. The responses that we received varied from grades dropping, not being with friends, or being with other family members. Surprisingly, 21.4% shared that COVID did not affect them at all.
When asked how they felt about attending school in person, some said that it felt good being in class and hanging out with friends and better than having a screen in front of their faces. About 64% of students say that they feel more productive without the distraction of phones, and many enjoy hanging out with their friends again. Students’ negative responses were that they felt weird, anxious, and stressed. Some even had a feeling of hating school.
This year is a unique one for our current freshmen. Having to come back to a school environment that is entirely new after being gone for more than a year is a challenge, but one they will surely overcome.