York sophomores join the freshmen for hybrid learning. On the third floor, students talked outside their classrooms prior to the first bell. All students were required to wear masks throughout the school day. Sept. 28, 2020. (Photo by Lucy Valeski)
York sophomores join the freshmen for hybrid learning. On the third floor, students talked outside their classrooms prior to the first bell. All students were required to wear masks throughout the school day. Sept. 28, 2020.

Photo by Lucy Valeski

Students share lessons learned throughout pandemic year

March 12, 2021

Tomorrow, March 13, marks one year since Elmhurst CUSD 205 was shut down due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. As this Monday marks the first day students are eligible to come back into school four days a week, ThisIsYork asked some York students what was the biggest life lesson they learned in quarantine. 

“My biggest life lesson is that things are going to get so hard, and you might feel like you can’t take it any longer, but you have to keep fighting and keep you head up,” sophomore Dani Oliveros said. “If you are crying, you won’t be able to see clearly the path you are walking on, but if you wipe your tears you will have a clear view of the path that will lead you to greatness.” 

“Life is too short to be mad at the little things,” senior Abby Baldridge said. 

“I learned that the smallest of moments with people are sometimes the most important moments of all,” sophomore Paige Greve said.

“I learned how to accept and adapt to change more easily,” senior Mia Taeyaerts said. “I feel like I’d been in such a set routine for so long that, when COVID hit, I was completely thrown. I learned to be comfortable breaking my normal routine and trying new things that I wouldn’t normally find myself doing.” 

“You can’t take anything for granted,” senior Bobby Hessling said. “A prime example with me was the Live Broadcasting we did with the York Sports Network, and missing out on doing the Jack Tosh made me realize I can’t take it for granted.” 

“The biggest lesson I learned is about turning negativity into art,” junior Margaret Wasco said. “I always wrote songs, but they were usually pretty shallow and didn’t mean a lot to me. After some really bad experiences that I’ve had this year, my music has been consistently improving, and it’s easier to feel passion for it since I have a deeper personal connection with it. This year has been incredibly painful, but it helps to turn the problems and negativity into some kind of creative outlet.” 

“I learned that it’s okay to take time to yourself and turn in work a little late,” senior Megan Prodoehl said. 

“The biggest life lesson I learned during quarantine would be to never take things for granted and to appreciate the small things,” senior Jillian Caforio said. 

“I learned to make the most out of everything, even if something seems impossible in the moment,” freshman Isabella Pingel said. 

“Don’t take things for granted, because even the smallest things can make the biggest change once they’re gone from your life,” freshman Riley Crow said. 

“Oatmeal is the best breakfast food, and it’s okay to recharge sometimes because balance is everything,” senior Haley Brown said. 

“Not everyone is who you thought they were,” senior Giana Gatti said. “People change, and sometimes it’s better for your mental health to let someone you think you need go.” 

“I learned that, in the hardest times, it’s most important to stay connected with your loved ones,” freshman Reilly Costello said. 

“I learned you never know who your strongest friendships are with until time apart tests the relationship,” sophomore Anna Ziebert said. 

“I would say I’ve learned not to take things for granted,” senior Francesca Soldano said. “Thinking about all of the things we’ve lost this past year makes me appreciate the people and experiences in my life more.” 

It’s safe to say that, no matter who you are, your life has changed in some way over the past year. COVID hasn’t been easy for anyone, and though it can sometimes feel like it will never end, everyone has grown as a person and learned new things along the way. As the in-person return to school begins next week, we will undoubtedly be faced with a new routine and new challenges, but the lessons we learned over the past year in quarantine will surely help us along the way. 

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