Anything But An Ordinary High School Experience

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Photo by Caroline Schlieker

Fierro writes about her anything-but-normal high school experience because of COVID.

Oh, high school. A pivotal time in any teenager’s development stage. A universal experience we all share, but I think the class of 2023 has had anything but an ordinary high school experience.

Our freshman year started “normal” pre-COVID style. I attended school with my older sister, went to football games, had fun at pep rallies, participated in both cross country and track meets, and enjoyed good school lunches. I made it all the way to my first spring break in high school. Then it all went downhill. It was like we entered a portal into a new reality.

When spring break was over, we did not go back to school. We were all forced to stay home and attend school online, something I was not very fond of. Teachers and students were just trying to make it to the last day of school and enjoy the normalities of summer. However, the summer of 2020 was anything but that. We were all forced to stay in our houses as COVID-19 raged outside like a zombie apocalypse. Anywhere and everywhere we went, we had to wear masks to protect ourselves and others.

Starting my sophomore year online was awful, but not as awful as attending school again. Having to wear a mask the entire day, maintaining six feet of distance at all times, one-way hallways, wiping the desk before and after every class, and having terrible free lunches. I’m appreciative of the government’s intentions though. Towards the end of the year, we were all over it.

The summer before my junior year, life began to shift back to normal. My friends and I had more freedom through driving, I got my first job at a waterpark. Worst job ever. But things were going back to ”normal.” Until we went back to school, we entered a socially awkward period of no one really knowing how to interact with another because we had been stuck behind a screen. People did not know how to act. The TikTok trend “Devious Lick” trampled through the school. Literally. Bathrooms were being torn up to the point that the entire school had to use just two bathrooms.

Now I am a senior. Everything is normal, back to pre-COVID style. Aside from the queen dying. As the year progresses, I truly hope that the class of 2023 can finally have a normal full school year. End the way we started.