The only thing I can say about the past four years is: what happened? One moment I was a freshman and, while I enjoyed my ninth grade year, it was filled with the anxiety of a new school, new classes, and new faces. I couldn’t help but feel excited for the next three years. It could only get better. Instead it disappeared. From familiar faces to masks and remote class meetings. I felt disconnected from school and my peers. I found myself jealous of those who had experienced four years of normal no-COVID high school.
Suddenly grades were “pass” or “fail.” What would have been honors level work became a half-hearted pat on the back. It wasn’t always easy and I sometimes struggled to remain optimistic but I took a breath and met each new challenge with a positive attitude.
As we move forward, things are opening up. I am grateful and lucky to have had a Drama Club Senior Send-Off, my final parade as a drum major, and my last concert with the band. While I envied the high schoolers who had a normal experience, I count myself lucky, now. I lost two and a half years of high school to COVID limbo, but I have had a great senior year and look forward to college and the future.
Eleanor Steinman is a senior at Spaulding High School. She plans to attend the University of Vermont this fall to study neuroscience.
I transferred to MHS halfway through my freshman year of high school. Once I got into the groove of the school year it was already summertime. When sophomore year came around I knew it was going to be a good year, I could feel it. The year was going good, I had a full course load of challenging classes and was excelling in them. After we came back from February break in 2020, everything changed.
The dynamic in the hallways and the discussions in the classrooms were dark. All of a sudden our entire lives changed and never went back to “normal.” The new normal was trying to balance your same course load, just now remotely with poor Wi-Fi connection, and a consensus that no one understood what was going on. When junior year came around we had a new COVID schedule that had us taking one or two classes at a time for nine-week periods. This means I didn’t have a true math class from March 2020 until the nine weeks I had it in April 2021.
Our education was greatly disrupted, more than anyone not experiencing it will understand. Not only were our actual classes disrupted, but our mental health and mindsets were changed. I don’t really remember anything from remote school, and the nine weeks during my junior year was not enough time for the knowledge to stick.
Now that my senior year is coming to an end, I’m uncovering more gaps in either knowledge or just high school experiences that I, as well as all of the class of 2022, missed. We were half way through our sophomore year, I hadn’t even gotten my license yet, and then in just a blink of an eye I was enrolling in college courses.
Due to all of these drastic changes I have become a more understanding and compassionate person. Once you miss out on all of these high school experiences you’re told about growing up, you find a way to make the most out of what’s available to you. Despite the different schedules, or the social distancing, I was still able to pursue my passions for different social justice movements as well as different subjects in school. The immediate shift in my high school experience forced me to spend loads of time with myself and my family. This time is what helped me discover who I was and what I was passionate about.
A graduating senior at Montpelier High School, Greta Sabo will be double majoring in marine science and biology at the University of Miami starting this fall.