We’re on to the second quarter now, with people mostly settled into remote learning and its quirks. Usually, at this point, things would be semi-normal in school, with people more or less familiar with classmates and people in their grades, but as we all know, it’s not normal at all right now. So let’s go back to some freshmen’s perspectives and see what life is like for us both academically and socially. With hybrid learning approaching sometime in the near future, it seems we have much to look forward to.
The first year of high school is challenging, but it’s a lot easier when there are friends to share the burden and liven the mood. Despite the pandemic, friendships at Lakeside have evolved somewhat, albeit slower than they have before. It’s not easy even for those who came from Lakeside Middle School. Iris O. ‘24 agrees: “Regardless, it has been harder to get a conversation flowing or to get over that initial phase of awkwardness when you are not able to read the other person’s facial expressions or body language as well.” However, it seems that we are doing our best to try to make these connections. Though we’re stuck in remote learning, people are really trying to make the best out of a non ideal situation. “It’s definitely harder on Zoom as it is harder to interact with people, and there’s also a bunch of people who are not in my classes that I just haven’t had the chance to meet yet,” reports Izzy M. ‘24, who joined Lakeside this year. Friendships that would have formed during lunch and in passing periods just aren’t possible. “I thrive in ‘people stuff,’ so it’s been a lot harder to focus and stay motivated,” Olivia K. ‘24, new to Lakeside as well, says. “I am surprised, though, the amount of people who I have met because I really didn’t think I’d make any new friends through online learning.”
Other members of the grade are also going out of their way to build a sense of community. “Everyone has been so open and welcoming,” says Fiona L. ‘24, a freshman new to Lakeside this year. Many people she knows in passing have introduced her to other friends or reached out to her through text, Instagram, and even Teams.
It seems that high school isn’t as scary as we thought once we get to know it. “I was expecting high school to be a lot harder to ‘fit in’ or harder to be comfortable with people I haven’t met before,” says Izzy. “Most people seem to be approachable and willing to help you get comfortable with the school.” Fiona agrees: “I had a few unfortunate misconceptions in mind going into high school about what it would be like,” she says, “This could not be farther from the truth! Everyone is so nice and welcoming, students and teachers alike… I’m so excited to see what else lies in store!”
Schoolwork is also a bit different this year, with remote learning and the according schedule cutting down the number of times a class meets each week. Classes on the same subject are always separated by at least a day, and it gives a bit more leeway for homework due later. “There is definitely more homework in high school compared to middle school. We have more projects and longer assignments, which make me spend more time on the weekend working on homework,” reports Izzy. The change wasn’t very noticeable at the beginning of the school year, but now the workload has really set in.
School was very different from our expectations this year, with remote learning, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is our tenacity. It was difficult to fit in at first with everything being unfamiliar to us ninth graders, but now, in the second quarter, it’s begun to feel more familiar. There are still people we haven’t been able to meet online and connections yet to be made, but if anything, this year has shown us the strength of the Lakeside community and all of ninth grade.