A few students from Lawrence Woodmere Academy have shared their experiences being divided between physical and remote learning. Christian Ford, Zoey Du, and Tyla Essor, specifically, were interviewed to chronicle life as freshmen at Lawrence Woodmere Academy. Though in the same grade, they all have their own experiences and opinions to share, as Ford attends remotely, Essor, in person, and Du, from China. To say the least, embarking upon their high school journeys in the midst of a pandemic has not been easy.
Though Du was not directly impacted, Ford and Essor were. “I had to move to this school just so I can still have opportunities. The biggest struggle is time management,” Essor said. Ford, being a returning student to LWA, had a different perspective. “The pandemic has affected my experience in the social aspect,” he explains. “I don’t have a risk of bringing Corona to my family, but the negative aspect is that I do not get to have conversations with my classmates.”
Because 2020 was such a stressful year, students developed various ways to manage their emotions and cope. Ford admits that he “[goes] to sleep” and even “[watches] anime” when he feels emotional tension. Similarly, for Essor, the pressure is subdued with “breaks and spending time on [her]self.” Du, however, seeks guidance from others when anxious. “I always talk to my best friends about my stress and anxiety...If there is a really, really big problem in front of me, I will try to have a talk with my parents.”
Hobbies also allowed students to take their minds off of school, but some cannot be practiced due to COVID-19 restrictions. Christian Ford states, “I used to play basketball more frequently before the pandemic hit. It has changed a lot because I don’t like playing basketball in a mask.” On the other hand, students like Tyla Essor simply do not have the time for hobbies or have lost the desire to work at them. “I practiced art. I still do it mostly, but not consistently.”
Clearly, Headmaster O’Connell is not the only one to feel overwhelmed. If you are experiencing similar issues in adjusting, remember that you are not alone. We must persist! We must persevere! In the end, we can only emerge from this year stronger than ever before, both as individuals and as a whole.