The start of this school year has been different than any other that I have experienced. One-way hallways, assigned bathrooms, and soccer practices with masks are some of the many adjustments that students have faced so far. Despite all of these changes, this school year has given our community an opportunity to grow, which we would not have had otherwise.
Each morning, I walk twenty-minutes from the fourth lot to the Upper School campus. Although I initially decided to walk to school because I didn't want to wait for one of the fourth lot shuttles, I have realized the value of getting lost in my own thoughts early in the morning. Walking to school allows me to prepare myself for the day ahead while spending time outside. This fall's shifted academic landscape taught me the importance of taking the time to reflect before a day filled with hours of school, sports, and homework.
Our school's hybrid system additionally has given us all a new sense of responsibility to each other. During a global pandemic, our health, and the health of our families, is interconnected. We have to hold ourselves and each other accountable in a way in which we would have never experienced without hybrid learning.
The school's hybrid system has also made me more aware of different things that I used to take for granted. Now that I no longer spend eight hours at school a day surrounded by classmates, I find myself missing those students who I never used to talk to outside of school but who made each school day better. I have made a point to reach out to those people and connect. With remote learning three days a week, I now am far more appreciative and thankful for all of the people who made the past three years of high school such an incredible experience.
Nobody has a good answer as to when everything will go back to normal and, for now, I am content with hybrid learning. We are so lucky to be in person at school for part of the week and to be getting a comprehensive education during times in which many families are struggling to bring food to the table. This year's hybrid learning experience will be as good as we decide to make it, and it is a great opportunity to find the positives in life.