Covid-19: My freshman experience during these times


When I was in second grade, I watched “High School Musical.” It was the first time I remember being excited about high school. In 2017, I graduated fifth grade. The feeling I felt receiving my “diploma” was unlike anything I have ever felt. I remember feeling nervous about my new classes and excited to meet all the new students. But ending middle school and starting high school, I honestly felt nothing.

Starting eighth grade, I kept being told about all the amazing trips we would go on and what graduating middle school would be like. I graduated from middle school via Youtube Live from my own living room. It was very anti-climatic and then middle school was over. I spent my entire summer wondering if I was even going to get the chance to go into school. The entire month of August was just a guessing game of which reopening plan was going to be chosen. But when I found out that I was going to be able to go into school, I was ecstatic. It was annoying that most of my friends were in cohort B and I was in cohort A, but still I was glad to be going back.

On the first day of school, I was going to go in-person. The night before the first day, I had just gotten home from 3-hour sailing practice and was sitting down to eat. My parents broke the news to me that I would be starting my first day of high school virtually due to pictures of people partying. My first reaction was how could people be so foolish to post pictures of themselves doing that. Then I was mad to find out that all these students ruined my first day of school just to go to a party that wouldn’t matter in five years.

When school started I knew most events and meetings would be held online. I also wasn’t expecting to have a school soccer season either. Making a connection with my teachers was the hardest because school did start virtually. Even in person, being behind a desk shield and face mask was like a way to hide. I’m usually a pretty social person but the shield and mask made it very hard to be that person.

Being a freshman (the youngest in the building), I’ve realized how small I feel walking through the hallways. Even with the number of students cut in half, there are still so many students I’ve never seen, and most of them towering over me.

I had been looking forward to the club fair since February. The club fair this year was held via PowerPoint that I actually viewed from my bed. I joined some clubs and the videos for the clubs were very helpful.

If you had told me I would play soccer during a global pandemic, I would have said that you were out of your mind. But the school successfully pulled off an entire fall season of sports. I played my first year of JV girls soccer and it was the best experience possible. There was something about the fact that we hadn’t played soccer in a year that made us all so grateful just to be there.

As far as actual learning goes, my grades haven’t slipped and I’m enjoying what I’m learning in most classes. My favorite class has been English 9H or Print Journalism. The most difficult class has been Global Honors because of the work. The classes aren’t actually that different from my middle school classes and the teachers have done a great job with the transition.

Pelham is lucky to have been able to open their schools, I have friends in high school in Chicago. Most started an entirely new school with no friends there and have not been able to go back to school in-person. Currently, PMHS has closed school till December 9th. But it’s so far only for 2 weeks.

Though freshman year looks entirely different than how 2nd grade me thought it would, I’m just happy that I was able to go into school, see my friends, and meet my teachers.