The pandemic put a strain on many school-related activities such as student-life and academics, but one of the biggest challenges was the one that clubs and honor societies had to face.
Last school year, many clubs struggled to efficiently transition to a virtual setting. Some clubs didn’t even operate last year due to a lack of leadership positions and sponsors.
Since the school year ended so abruptly in 2020, many clubs were left without students to lead them. Since then, the slow return has been difficult, but successful.
Some of the extracurriculars and clubs that remained active were National English Honor Society, Equity and the Atoms Writing Center.
National English Honor Society held monthly meetings last year as well as different opportunities for students to receive hours by participating in Book Club and Atom Buddies. NEHS was also able to elect new officers for this school year.
“Most of our success is because of the committed enthusiastic officers we’ve elected, both last year and this year,” English teacher and NEHS Co-Sponsor McClain Herman said.
“Prior to the pandemic, our officers did a lot of work to create several programs that students could participate in to support our local community, share their love for all things English and earn points, including tutoring programs with local elementary schools and our ESOL students and a book club,” Herman said.
“Because of that foundation, it was fairly easy to transition these programs to the virtual setting last year. We also reduced our point requirement last year given that we knew it would be more difficult for students to earn them virtually,” Herman said.
“We returned to our usual point requirement (8) this year. Our current officers are leading the transition of these programs back to the in-person setting, and have also excelled in finding new ways to engage members,” Herman said.
On the other hand, some clubs have had to readjust after not operating for an entire school year.
“It’s been difficult considering that the Arabic Club is heavily reliant on in-school participation since it’s very hands-on,” Arabic Club Co-President Iman Hamdela said.
“We rely on having students come to our meetings because it’s the easiest way to raise money and connect with each other,” Hamdela said.
Many clubs were left without funds due to a lack of fundraising last year, and this made it difficult for said clubs to kickstart for the new school year.
Without the operation of many of these clubs and extracurricular activities, students struggled to keep themselves occupied during the school year.
For many students, extracurriculars and clubs are beneficial for keeping engaged and staying motivated throughout the year.
Without the support from these clubs, many students were left without any creative outlet or additional social activities.
“Not being able to participate in the clubs I wanted to played a huge role on my mental health,” senior Sabrin Gabow said. “Although there were still clubs that were offered, none of them were ones that I was interested in or passionate about.”
Despite the pandemic placing major set-backs on clubs and honor societies, they have been slowly returning to normalcy with the support of teachers and club sponsors.
“I’m super proud of all of the work we’ve been doing, and I’m super excited to see where the rest of this year takes us,” Atom Minds Matter Co-President Holly Waldridge said. “Now that we are back in school, it’s so much easier for us to personally reach out to students and get more people to join our club.”
Although the return to in-person learning has been difficult for some students, the return of clubs and more options for extracurriculars has made a positive impact amongst students.
“I’m just glad that I get be in a new social setting again, club meetings over computers aren’t as meaningful as they are in-person,” senior Megan Brown said.