A Fresh(men) Perspective


There’s no question about it: this year was different. COVID-19 changed everything, especially for students. Every consistent thing about students’ lives was turned upside down. No school dances, limited seating at sports events and wearing masks constantly made this year unique in every way. The chaos of COVID is stressful enough for a returning high school student, but think about if this crazy year was your first one here. 

Freshmen were in that position this year, and it wasn’t easy. The transition to a new school is stressful enough, without being in a global pandemic. Many students struggled to adjust to these changes with everything else going on in the world. 

“High school in and of itself is harder, and it’s a huge adjustment,” freshman Sophie Wiley said. “Then with e-Learning and hybrid I just don’t have any motivation.”

Work ethic was a big struggle for students who were already trying to adjust to the increased workload of high school. 

“I’ve become lazier than I have in past years and I don’t have the motivation I used to have to complete my work,” freshman Grace Livingston said. “By being lazier than I was, it’s caused things like stress which can take a toll on mental health. The stress that school has caused me in keeping me up almost every night, which also affects my after school activities.”

High school is supposed to be when students are making new friends and forming tight groups. Connection is a huge part of high school and the relationships made here are ones you remember for the rest of your life, but the pandemic is like a wall between students and normal social interactions. 

“School used to be one of my safe places where I could see my friends and escape for a while, but it’s not like that anymore,” freshman Mady Anderson said. “I don’t have classes with any of my friends. Most of them were in the opposite cohort of me.”

The relationships with teachers are a whole other issue. Only seeing teachers once a week proved incredibly difficult on students’ learning. 

“In class, you get help. Small questions don’t seem so stupid in class, but writing an email with one question seems so unnessecary, and I’d rather just take a zero than email a teacher just because I’m a little bit confused. Once you get behind, it feels like there’s no room to catch up, and the assignments just keep piling,” Anderson said. “I’ve always been an A and B student, but right now it seems impossible to even be passing.”

This year also made a very bad first impression on first time students. Many freshmen have struggled with their overall opinion of school and that will carry into future years at Center Grove and for some, their entire perception of school has changed as a whole.

“School used to be a good place to me, but now it just signifies my anxiety and how depressed I feel,” Anderson said. “I know in a normal school year, I’d be doing good and wouldn’t have to worry about messing everything up. School used to be enjoyable and I didn’t mind the early mornings and teachers and workload, but this school year was anything but [enjoyable].”

“In the past, I used to really enjoy school and learning,” Livingston said. “But now I don’t have much of a liking for it anymore. This school year hasn’t been allowing me to enjoy the things I enjoy. I’m more focused on things that don’t involve school, whereas it used to be one of my top priorities.”

COVID has made everything more difficult for students, but freshmen had no sense of what normal high school was like before everything normal was thrown out the window. Everything is a degree or two more difficult, but we have to remind ourselves that it will get better.  And this is true for all of us. Normal life, while it may seem foreign, it is a concept that isn’t too far off in the future. It’s been incredibly difficult for me, my peers, my family members, my teachers, and just about everybody else to remember, but this won’t be forever. Even though the pandemic has felt like ten years, it’s only been one and we can’t let this experience tarnish our experiences anymore than it already has. Normal is coming. Just keep going.