First Day Jitters

Students and teachers navigate through a memorable first day

StuCo+greets+students+in+the+front+entryway

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StuCo greets students in the front entryway

Tile floors shine, hallways swept clean of rubbish and teachers hang their last decorative pieces in their classrooms, every heart longing for the arrival of the students. After four weeks of online learning, students came back with backpacks shoved on and masks on faces. Each person rode up to the school, parking in familiar spaces they accommodated last year and parents remembered carline, dropping their highschoolers off with a wave and kiss goodbye. 

When car engines sputtered to a halt, people got out dressed in all sorts of apparel. Many girls clothed in t-shirts and sweaters paired with jeans while the boys wore athletic shorts and t-shirts. Everyone heaved a sigh when getting out and reminisced on the last breath of fresh air, then slipped their masks on and trudged to the school for first period. Hallways crowded in one way passages as everyone paced to get to class on time, freshman scanned their schedules relentlessly to figure out the route to get there and friends found one another with happy squeals and forbidden hugs. Seven months away and everything seemed the same, but felt different. 

Conversations slipped through the masks between friends about the changes that happened around campus due to the virus. “We’re back,” a teacher said from her doorway when students passed. When arriving at AP English with Coach Ryan wore her simple black mask and even with it covering her mouth you could tell she smiled. It seemed that all the teachers grinned under their clothes because the thought that students were back made their hearts happy. When sitting down in assigned seats, students stayed silent, only a couple of people commented here and there. The idea that we are all back in school eluded everyone.

First and second period flew by and the lunch periods began. Teachers assigned seat numbers to students for lunch as it came time to dismiss. When the bell rang, students piled down the stairwells and hallways to the open cafeteria. They hunted down the number that determined their fate. Freshmen cried out for help with worried eyes, sophomores fought hard for new seats closer to their friends. Juniors accepted their assigned seat grudgingly while seniors left early and skipped out on the secluded lunch. Everyone sat down on the cold benches wiped clean of germs and stared at each other face to face with a clear plexiglass cubicle. Conversations lingered at first, but before everyone knew it, students resorted to their phones for entertainment. 

When the lunch bell rang, everyone threw their trash away and went back to their class to finish the remainder of the day. The tiring feeling that first days bring began to toll on the students but thankfully the clock kept ticking to 2:55. The end of the day came quickly, desks were wiped down with paper towels and students said their goodbyes before exiting the building. When students flooded the parking lots, they took their masks off and relished the fresh air. The cars that had been left there since the morning revved on and parents rushed into lines to see their babies that had been gone for so long. The first had come to an end, a first day that went better than we all expected.