How the pandemic has robbed me of a full high school experience

This First Individual article is the expertise of Andie Lawrence, a Grade 11 scholar in Fernie, B.C. For extra details about CBC’s First Individual tales, please see the FAQ.

For seven hours a day, 5 days per week, I sit on the similar desk staring on the lime inexperienced partitions of my classroom. To handle COVID-19 exposures, every grade stays in its personal classroom and the academics cycle by. I now not get to cease at my locker, a easy act that I took without any consideration earlier than the pandemic. 

I am in Grade 11, usually an thrilling time for college kids marked with subject journeys, sports activities and college spirit days.

As an alternative, to cut back COVID-19 transmission, most athletics and journeys are suspended. My highschool expertise has been lowered to notes, worksheets and checks. Now I fear the pandemic has robbed me of one thing you possibly can’t be taught from a textbook: the possibility to develop as an individual and type lifelong connections.

Faculty is meant to be my social hub as a young person, however COVID-19 has made my bubble so much smaller. 

I am going to a small impartial faculty, and controlled entry occasions imply I see a handful of individuals every day within the hallway. I spend most of my day interacting with my grade made up of seven college students. We have grown shut by the pandemic. Our talks vary from politics to the kind of bread that greatest represents us — moments which have been highlights of my days. However new friendships have been onerous to come back by. 

COVID-19 has compelled Andie Lawrence to take care of a small bubble of classmates through the pandemic. (Submitted by Andie Lawrence)

These misplaced connections have made me extra introverted. I have been cautious when seeing individuals exterior my bubble, not sure of whether or not they’ve been in shut contact with COVID-19. Over Christmas break, I turned down snowboarding with associates as a result of Omicron instances have been rising. Now I fear I will not know the best way to work together when my bubble expands. How will I navigate a college class of 300 college students in lower than two years? 

The pandemic has additionally robbed me of experiences to be taught exterior the classroom.

Journey was a purpose I selected my faculty, together with a Grade 10 journey to Peru that may have allow us to volunteer at a non-profit house for boys and expertise the Peruvian tradition and panorama. I spent hours studying Spanish for the journey and having it cancelled was a giant letdown.

On high of that, the science experiments and subject journeys that I watched the older youngsters do a couple of years in the past aren’t allowed anymore. With out these particular moments, the times really feel like they mix collectively. 

Getting older means extra freedom, however even that is been taken away. It was as soon as regular to discover downtown Fernie with my associates. Now, it is discouraged to depart at lunch, and it isn’t definitely worth the effort to plan with associates and get parental notes.

After I do depart my desk, it is to stroll to the closest washroom 5 metres exterior our classroom. These fleeting moments are after I really feel I’ve probably the most freedom.

B.C. is easing its COVID-19 insurance policies in colleges, together with dropping masks after spring break, which makes Andie Lawrence extra optimistic she’ll have a standard Grade 12 yr. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Nonetheless, I perceive why I’ve to comply with these protocols. They work, and to date, I have never missed a day of sophistication. I do know many college students have completed education on-line, so I am grateful to have spent the pandemic in individual with my academics.

As restrictions ease, I am extra optimistic my final yr of highschool will probably be higher. However even with masks gone, I feel it can be an extended transition to pre-pandemic education. My hope is that by the point I begin college, I am going to get to review on the library, reside in residence and go to cafes with new associates.

Has highschool been the perfect time of my life? It is one thing we regularly hear rising up as we’re promised our first style of freedom and independence. The pandemic has taken that away from me.

As an alternative, what I am going to bear in mind most about my highschool years are my classroom’s lime inexperienced partitions.

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