Incoming freshmen look forward to the school year despite last year’s challenges


Photo by Anaya Patel

Chef’s Corner students prep food for the day’s project. Freshman begin their high shool experience early by attending summer school alongside other grades. July 2, 2021.

Anaya Patel , Contributing Reporter

Last year, Covid-19 affected many, whether it is socially, academically, or mentally. Now imagine being a freshman, stepping into a large, new school after being at home and online for so long. 

The class of 2025 is short of about two months before they enter high school for the first time. Every year the majority of students are nervous about their freshman year. However, doing a year of school online can bring on many extra challenges for children. 

“It was harder to focus because you weren’t with the teacher or with people that you’re working with and you can get distracted easier,” freshman Betsy Kungl said.

Students and teachers were separated by a screen at almost all times. During this time, District 205 was still able to communicate with children through electronic devices. However, the computer is not as functional as talking face to face. 

“When I didn’t understand an assignment, I would email a teacher of course,” freshman Sophia Stoddard said.  “But it’s hard to ask a question over email versus in person.”

The district did accommodate to these challenges by providing extra office hours and using online resources such as Zoom, to try to make things easier. While realizing that their students were going into high school, teachers began to prepare them as best they could while communicating through the screen. Covid restricted the in-person field trips and activity nights that middle school students were able to go to previously, but in spite of that, other ways were found to make the incoming freshman feel ready and prepared for high school. 

“My teachers gave us homework and projects that they said were similar to high school work,” freshman Maeve Gibbs said.

Covid did not prevent instructors from challenging their children and helping them prepare in that way. They were still able to talk them through it, even if it was not face to face.

“They told us about what classes are going to be like and what assignments are going to be like,” Kungl said. 

Because teachers worked to create an environment that would get students ready to step into their freshman year, children do not need to feel nervous. Although they had a rough year, many voiced their excitement about the year to come. 

“I’m nervous about my grades and being in better classes,” Stoddard said. “But I’m actually really excited to make new friends and join sports and clubs.”

Students were cooped up in their homes, stuck behind a screen for a year now. No wonder so many are excited about getting back to school and socializing. It’s okay to be stressed about grades and classes, because most people are. But the well thought out way that teachers worked to prepare students prevents them from having additional Covid-related stress. 

“I’m excited because I get to meet new friends and I haven’t been able to talk to anyone because of e-learning,” Kungl said

As students come out of a stressful, frustrating year, many are more ready than ever to start off as freshmen, meet new people, and enjoy new experiences.

“I think I’m going to get used to it really quickly and have a great time,” Stoddard said.