Student’s Perspective on In-Person School


Maddie Mitchell

Students eating in the lunchroom.

Maddie Mitchell and Rebecca Maritano

With the start of a new in-person school year comes exciting opportunities for students to socialize again and re-engage in the high school experience. School has drastically changed since COVID-19 first started in March of 2020. Finally, we are back in person at school this year, going from “seeing” people through Zoom to being in the classroom face to face. We went around the school and asked students how they were feeling during this transition. 

Being back in school is proving to be a good start to the senior’s last and final year. According to Senior, Amanada Bell, “It feels nice, I feel like online school was very difficult and it’s nice to be able to see your friends.” Looking back many students prefer in-person over online as a lot of people struggled. “I didn’t like the 4×4 schedule, It felt very crammed,” Bell said. 

It wasn’t easy to adjust to a new class format and our seniors missed that chance to see their friends and teachers. Seniors like Samantha Cox. “I like it, I think it’s so much better than online, I struggled in online school. I got distracted a lot.” 

Getting the most out of this year is what most seniors are working towards during this last year of high school. It’s important to take advantage of this chance to have those big opportunities they didn’t get last year. “I’ll go to more school events because I wasn’t able to last year and I’m a senior so I feel like I should make the most of it,” said Bell.

Though a few students believe that there is still a chance that some of the events that are coming up will get canceled due to COVID. “We’re not missing out on any opportunities right now, but there is a possibility they might shut those down again this year, which is kinda sad because this is our senior year,” said Cox.

As the juniors come back to school this year, they are excited to see people and get back to a regular schedule. “I’m really excited, I hated CDL. I’m excited to see friends again and be able to do stuff,” Junior Beret Schneider said. “Now that we’re back in person it’s a lot easier to connect with people.” Schneider added. It’s easier to connect with your classmates and teachers in person rather than through a black Zoom screen.

A lot of students felt the same about being able to go back to school and though some went to Hybrid they felt that it wasn’t quite the same. “I think it is better to see people, it is less lonely. Hybrid was in person but there weren’t as many people and the classes were half filled and it was really lonely so I went back online,” said junior Lilly Krisky.  There is a difference from being in a class with 4 students to 40 students and they enjoy that. “Being in person has me get into a better schedule and be more responsible,” said Krisky.

Coming back to school gives students a chance to get back to some normalcy and guide them further into their education in a better way. “Online it was hard for me to get work done and stay motivated. But now in person, it’s easier for me to get work done and get help. I like being able to talk to my teachers in person,” Schiender said. In-person school lets students have an opportunity to participate in sports, go to dances, and have a fun student life in what would be the Juniors most stressful year. “I do track and field and last year I went to state and I really want to go to state this year and hopefully not have to run with a mask,” Krisky said. With this being their hardest year it will also be the most exciting for these juniors as well. 

For most Sophomores, this year is their first in-person experience in the building. COVID took away their freshman year and now they are here ready for a fresh start. “I much rather prefer it cause it keeps me more honest. Because it’s not just waking up and putting up your screen and going to class all day in your pj’s, in person you have to be there and be present.”  said sophomore Ainsley Schmietenknop.

With a new environment for them, many are getting accustomed to the halls and the big flights of stairs. They are also getting the opportunity to meet and engage with new people. “I definitely like seeing people. It’s weird looking at a black screen all day,” said Schmietenknop. 

Some of the sophomores have had to get back in the habit of talking to classmates face to face. “Coming back in person I feel like I lost most of my social skills, but it’s slowly getting better but it’s gradual.” said sophomore Amira Mohamed. Although it will take some time for these students to get back on their feet, they are excited to get back out there.

Being able to start their time in high school off normally, the 9th graders are able to meet new people and get to know our school as a whole. “I like being able to see actual people and communicating with teachers and friends,” said 9th grader Marym Almeraiya. With new faces on the scene, these students are ready to face their first year at Mountainside.

As their anticipation continues, many are thrilled to walk the halls for the first time and be around other people instead of the awkwardness of a zoom meeting, “In online school, a lot of people didn’t show up to class or they had their camera off which made it very awkward for me so I basically only talked to 4 or 5 people in that class.” said Logan Ferebee. Coming in their first year with masks can be hard for some to talk to new people and lacks a sense of normalcy. “I used to be really extroverted but it is my first time being back in school since 7th grade so it is really different,” said Almeraiya.

It was hard for many during online classes, so just the chance to come back here gives many a chance for success. “I think everybody struggled, it was hard not being able to ask teachers questions in person and you couldn’t really work with classmates during group work time,” said Ferebee. Being able to engage in an in-person class has helped motivate them, give them a chance to get out of their comfort zone, and be around the Mav community for the first time.

Students at Mountainside can mostly agree that there are multiple positives to being back in school. The student body is excited about being able to go to activities like assemblies, dances and participate in sports. However, it is important to remember to follow guidelines and stay safe so we can continue doing these activites.

Leave a comment and let us know how you’re feeling now that school is in person!