Class of 2024: The COVID-19 class. Entering high school through a computer screen. Feeling adventure when viewing a movie. Wishing for a wonderful beginning to high school and having something rob you of it. This is the sophomore class of 2024. Initially unique, there is now a new class that sympathizes with this: Class of 2025. The question is, just how similar might these two classes be?
A set of questions were laid out for a mere bit of sophomores representing their class and a minute portion of freshman representing theirs. Rather simple questions regarding high school clashed with COVID-19, the answers ranged from nearly identical to almost drastically different.
- Some of the questions were, “How might you sum up your high school experience so far in a word? Might you elaborate on why?
- What are some things you expected during your time as a high schooler? Some things you didn’t expect?
- How might you refer to your high school experience if asked to recall it as an adult?
- How might COVID-19 have added to your experience? How did it take away from it?
- Do you regret anything you might’ve done with respect to your high school experience that might be due to COVID-19? Hoco, Intramurals, Sports, Courses?
Of course, these answers may vary immensely, except oddly enough, some answers did indeed overlap. The Class of 2024 was unfortunately unaccustomed before UA, but luckily the Class of 2025 had a foundation coming in with regards on navigating school, social lives, and COVID-19 all in one. Regardless of this, these underclassmen have proved themselves tenacious, and a few were confident enough to speak on behalf of their grade.
These questions that were asked were not necessarily alienated themes; many girls replied to answers and similarities were discovered within their answers. For example, “What are some things you expected during your time as a high schooler? Some things you didn’t expect?” Reese Garrett, a freshman, answered she “expected more freedom and privilege”, whilst Amelia Mappus, a sophomore, replied she is, “used to this new freedom”. Clearly there is an immense contrast, yet this idea of freedom is reused and seen with contrasting perspectives.
Yet another contrast of a question asked was as follows: “How might you sum up your high school experience so far in a word? Might you elaborate on why?” This answer received a fuller answer from sophomores; the idea of summing up the minute amount of time in Ursuline’s halls baffled the Freshman quite a bit. Audrey Cox, Class of 2025, mentioned the theme of responsibility. Her peer, Reese, answered the same. “. . .going into high school, we have more freedom and have the responsibility to keep ourselves on track”. Interestingly enough, Annie Zhu, class of 2024, stated her time throughout high school fell into a similar category. “My high school experience so far can be summed up by the word “self-determination”. In high school, there are a lot of decisions that you must make by yourself. . .opportunities that you have to reach for on your own. . .first taste of what it is like to make decisions that will directly impact your future. . .teaches you the valuable lesson that your life can be changed for the better and that your goals can be achieved as long as you realize that you are the only person responsible for your future”. This theme of finding yourself in a sea of individuality and independence as opposed to being dependent might be a wonderful outcome as COVID-19. Of course, a negative light might be shed on this, but one might find comfort in understanding they acquired maturity and wisdom at an earlier age than most when contrasting themselves to older grades.
“How might you refer to your high school experience if asked to recall it as an adult?” was the third question asked. This one received quite a bit of controversy. Many people are torn between the good and bad, the light and dark of this pandemic mixed with high school. From the Class of 2024, Chelsea Webber stated, “I would refer to my high school experience as an interesting and a fun experience. An interesting experience would be of the pandemic. . .fun because of what events we could do. . .”. From the Class of 2025, though, Audrey Cox stated, “I would refer to it as hard”. Both of these responses are immensely relatable, and others writing on behalf of the 2 classes agreed as well.
Every single one of these questions were almost main themes, main pillars of our current situation. Every grade can relate to this statement; what’s more so is just how different either grade comprehends this experience, and how both sides of the argument are correct. This begs the question, ‘just how much good is discovered within the bad’?