The After, After COVID

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Sarah Kelly , Editor & Teaching Assistant

For some, coming back to a “normal” year after COVID-19 might not feel as normal as it seems. The effects of COVID-19 still resonate in many people’s lives, which can cross over into impacting classrooms, too—even if it’s in a more positive light than many may think. 

People were just there taking chances with stuff, which I think is one of the good things about the pandemic. I see a lot of ‘let me just see what’s going to happen.’”

— Art Teacher, Matt Herbert

Freshmen are coming into high school never having had a regular year of school, and the senior class  will be the final class to have known Valley before COVID-19 shut the world down. 

Coming into school this year, many may wonder: How am I supposed to act? What if I fail my first test? How am I going to handle my classes? 

Though those questions may exist in the minds of many high school students, some students agree that a sense of energy that is stronger than last year is tangible throughout the school. Even some teachers spoke of the changes felt coming into this school year.

“I feel very pumped—excited for sure,” English teacher Sammantha Darr said. “I think that this year feels like a brand new start for everyone.”

While explaining the caution and cleanliness habits that have carried over due to COVID-19, Darr also spoke of the enthusiasm she saw in the students this year.

“I think everyone’s just a little more excited, and not as nervous,” Darr said. 

She spoke of how many were unsure coming into last year due to isolation as well as concerns for safety. 

“I think people are feeling a little bit safer overall now,” Darr said.

Though teachers and students face similar challenges coming back to school this year, the responses of the students versus the teachers offered different perspectives on how the school year is starting. 

Senior Alex Chinn explained how this year is much less stressful than last year.

“I’ve already taken my SAT, and it’s a lot less workload this year,” Chinn said. 

She advised underclassmen to take things one step at a time. 

“Don’t focus on the whole picture, like multiple projects and due dates and tests,” she said. “Focus on one day at a time.” 

While senior year for Chinn has been a relief compared to last year, senior Will McFadden spoke of how they still feel lingering anxiety. 

“I simultaneously feel more stressed and less stressed,” McFadden said. “Junior year was the hardest year I’ve ever gone through.” 

Though that may be true, McFadden said that with a steady friend group coming into senior year, they feel more ready to face whatever comes. 

Though students have mostly spoken of how this year is off to a better start for them, there are still many reasons why others in each grade level may be overwhelmed. However, Valley does offer resources to help you.

Valley’s counselors, which can be found here, are a team of professionals who are always there to support students.

There is also a new program subscription being offered to students at Valley called tutor.com. Through this website, students are able to connect with tutors and get extra help on any subject. 

If this year is still feeling unmanageable, then here’s some support and advice from students who were in your seats just a year ago. 

If this school year is still feeling unmanageable in some way, know that Valley has resources to help you.

Valley’s counselors, which can be found here, are a team of professionals who are always there to support students.

In addition, a new program subscription being offered to students is tutor.com. Students are able to connect with tutors and get extra help on any subject.