Class of 2021 feeling ‘tired,’ ‘lonely’ through virtual learning, according to survey

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A survey of 58 seniors showed that most Parkdale seniors thought the school year was “alright” or “exhausting.”

No high school senior before has ever seen a school year like that of 2020-2021. 

March 13 was one of the last “normal” days, where we were able to laugh and talk with our friends, not knowing that our  two week break would have transitioned into distance learning. Distance learning has become a new norm throughout the year of 2020 and continting over into the next year. The physical classroom that many of us have been used to, has now been transitioned into our new Zoom or Google Meets Classroom. And for seniors, this meant a complete change of what they thought their last year of high school would be.

Usually seniors would be able to have a prom and class night where they would always play lots of games, and have a senior skip day, a senior prank day , and many memorable moments to fulfill the senior year.  

This wasn’t the case for approximately  482 seniors of the Class of 2021 who were looking forward to their senior year activities. Many activities which would normally take place in the final year of school were postponed or cancelled entirely, due to the pandemic that is currently impacting the way we live and learn. A year into the online learning , and the nearning down of the senior year  many of  the seniors are now behind the thought of virtual school , but are looking back at what they have missed and expressing how they feel about everything regarding their senior year.  One of the main concerns that students share about their distance learning ,is what it is to them, and how they feel about it. 

“Everything feels pretty much the same,” said senior Richard Orenalla. “The only thing that makes distance learning feel different for me is that we got to stay home and do school online”  

In a sample survey of 58 seniors, 27.6  percent  of the students stated that the school year has been alright but it could be better, while 25.9 percent felt exhausting and ovwewhelming about the virtual school year. 

Even though there are moments of the virtual school year that make it feel lonely for seniors, teachers play their part into bringing back the spirit in learning. “It’s been a little stressful but I have to commend the teachers because they are trying to put us in good mood even when they are having it rough too” said senior Fisayo Monehin.

With many events cancelled and the battling feeling of the virtual school year, there are some positive aspects that the seniors found  in the concept of virtual learning.. The data in the survey showed that 63.8 percent of the students were grateful for being able to wake up on time, while 58.6 percent were amazed by not being able to wear a uniform.

Even though this year has taken many seniors by surprise , something to hold onto is “No matter what you are struggling on make sure you do your best”.