Students reflect on return to school

Students struggle to re-adjust after virtual learning


Fatima Sayed Eltayeb

Students in Leadership work together on a team building activity in-person for the first time since the pandemic.

After Covid began, FCPS ended the school year early in March of 2020. At the time, freshmen were in 7th grade. Their next school year would be 8th grade, and students had to experience their last year of middle school by attending school virtually.

The students then had to adjust to the high school environment after only having one and half years of middle school interaction and zero high school experience. Leaving the then rising freshmen struggling to adjust.

The high school experience is completely different from a middle school one in terms of school work, freedom, extracurricular activities and small things like navigating through the school, taking harder courses and even making new friends.

“Going from such a small middle school to a big high school was confusing almost like a puzzle,” freshman Diana Flores Ortega said.

“I like high school way better because it’s like I have a new fresh start and I can better myself,” freshman Meilissa Vu said. “I like how they aren’t as strict on dress codes as they were in middle school, and I feel like I can be more of myself.”

“I also think the teachers and staff trust us more than the teachers and staff did at my middle school, and it’s just really nice to have more responsibilities with our freedom,” Vu said.

“I think the one big thing online school affected was my social skills and how they went down. I found it a bit harder to make friends the first week, but as the weeks went on I got much more comfortable talking to different people,” Ortega said.

Students have had to readjust academically and socially following the immediate transition from virtual to in-person learning.

Students and teachers have both had to learn how to navigate through Schoology, the school’s new platform for learning.

Many teachers and students finally became familiar with Google Classroom after using it throughout the year, but the new transition to Schoology has been confusing and frustrating for both teachers and students.
“I was a bit annoyed when they told us that we were switching over to Schoology because it’s not as user-friendly as Google Classroom is,” senior Trisha Tran said. “It’s also harder to find out when my assignments are due because the notifications aren’t very clear.”

Although there have been struggles to familiarize with the new technology, some students have been able to pick up right where they left off in terms of academics and social life.

“As a senior, coming back to in-person learning wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be,” Tran said. “The only thing I’ve really struggled with is college applications. It’s been hard to navigate my way through the college application process since we didn’t really discuss it at all during my junior year, and school ended in the middle of my sophomore year.”

Although freshmen have had to make some of the biggest changes, it would seem that they are enjoying their high school experience here at AHS so far and are excited to grow and meet new people and start their new found journey here at AHS.