How Freshmen Transitioned Into High School with COVID-19 Restrictions


Credit to Designed by Ashlynn Perez

After the outbreak of COVID-19, schools have been forced to adapt to new safety measures. This is why FHSD introduced virtual instruction this year. This in-depth package explores the difference between traditional in-person learning and learning online.

By Matt Wells

Due to the national outbreak of COVID-19, school this year is looking different, freshmen Ankita Pandurangi and Nate Stachula are living in that reality right now. Anxious for a new beginning– to begin what some say is the best four years of your life. Nervous to find their way through the halls. Greeted by hundreds of student mentors in a gym for transition day to get a feel for the school and the new normal. In a normal year, this is reality for freshmen. This year, the same nerves and anxiety exist for many freshmen students, but they didn’t get the chance to adjust like most students in the past have.

Before the school year started, the district gave all students a choice between doing online school or going in person. 

“My parents wanted me to do online school, and I thought it was the safer option,” Pandurangi explains.

A lot of people thought, how would this year look? Before the start of school. Would it be like it did when school shut down in the spring? 

”I expected a little more guidance on what to do. I feel like I had to figure most of this stuff out on my own on how to work the new online school system,” Stachula said. 

Online school took some adjusting for both students. Instead of being in a classroom, students are in a zoom call with their class every day in a quiet spot– her room for Pandurangi, and in an office room for Stachula.

“Keeping up with stuff is a little harder, because you don’t get the same reminder about school work that you would get if you were in school,” Pandurangi said. 

There are a lot of kinks to work out as the online school year goes on, and that expected. After going completely online with in person teachers and a whole new website the school district is using.

”I wish I had more guidance on the website we started using. I still don’t know what everything does. I can’t ask for help from the teacher as easily as if I was in school,” Stachula said.

A lot has been changed from what was supposed to happen this school year. Due to COVID-19 the school was forced to cancel or change a lot of their yearly traditions.

“What was supposed to happen, was that I was supposed to get comfortable with high school and able to walk around the school and join a lot of extracurricular activities and be able to have enjoyable memories from those.” Pandurangi said. “Sitting here looking through a screen, it is easier to get bored and distracted as well, so this isn’t the ideal way my freshmen year could have started, but I am still learning, and I will still be on track for when I eventually come back to school.”