Adjusting to in-person learning

Students weigh in on their preference between virtual and in-person school


Sahara Sania

Returning to school has been a huge adjustment for many students

For many students, returning back to school has been a large adjustment after a full year of virtual learning. Some found that they prefer the comfort of their own home in comparison to school while others prefer to get their work done in person. Many students have agreed that it has been an unforgettable experience for everyone. 

According to an article by Kids First Pediatrics, a pediatric health organization, students returning to school have had more access to resources they were lacking during virtual learning. In addition to reading, writing and math, students also learn social and emotional skills, get exercise and have access to mental health and other support services. 

Schools provide more than just academics to children and adolescents,” the organization said. “For many families, schools are where kids get healthy meals, access to the internet, and other vital services. In addition to reading, writing, and math, students also learn social and emotional skills, get exercise, and have access to mental health and other support services. Students going back to school would mean getting access to all these resources again is usually for the benefit of the people attending there.”

Students have mixed feelings about returning back to school, yet it is mostly positive feelings after a year of being stuck inside.

 Darya Wilson, a freshman, said that she is excited to be meeting people and making friends again. 

“I [also] like that there are [a lot of] activities [here at school], but it has also been very stressful and overwhelming,” Darya Wilson, a freshman at our school, said. “It definitely was a shock when I first arrived since I had never really been here before, and it’s more fun, but I like the smaller environment of virtual learning.”

Wilson prefers the outgoing ambiance that she feels coming to school in person has, which allows her to bask in making new friends and socializing more than when she was learning from home. However, Wilson does feel that coming back has also been a bit challenging. 

“I wasn’t fully prepared for coming back to school because I can’t do my homework in a lesson anymore, I have to pay attention to that specific subject’s teacher and can’t really do homework from other classes,’’ Wilson said.

  In comparison to Wilson, senior Yanson Khuu was less inclined towards in-person learning. 

“Having a later wakeup time was a  big bonus of virtual schooling, and so was having Mondays as asynchronous days,” Khuu said. “It gave me enough time to work  on my activities and let me relax a bit more than being bombarded by work five days a week.” 

Khuu also said that he has been struggling to keep up with the tests that are being given now in the school year.

 “In-person tests are a little bit more difficult because during virtual I was able to use any resources that were provided to me by my teachers, but now it’s back to memorizing all the different things you learned in each class,” Khuu said. 

Evelyn Courard-Durso had experienced her sophomore year in full virtual school, and now she is back to school to complete her junior year. As an introvert, Courard-Durso faced difficulties virtually. 

“I’m not much of a person that actually reaches out to people, so I didn’t talk to my classmates that much,” Courard-Durso said. “It was also a lot harder to do work because there was always asynchronous time to complete all my work.”

This is Anujin Enkhee’s second year and not having opportunity her first year to come in person has stolen her of the chance to familiarize herself with the school. 

“I feel it was more virtual that was lacking rather than in-person because it was hard to communicate with others,” Enkhee said. “I also find resources to be lacking since teachers’ Canvas pages are challenging to navigate if you’re using it for the first time.” Enkhee prefers to have all her information presented to her before she starts.

Courard-Durso and Enkhee both agree that their virtual year was an experience unlike any other that they have been through, but they both see eye to eye on the positive effects of going back to in-person classes. 

While going back to in-person classes is overwhelming and it may take a while to get back into the natural rhythm of things again, it does have benefits that are fundamental to learning. Students attending school are united in that they can see their friends again and socialize a lot more by leaving their houses, which has overall made them happier. Getting back in the flow of things will take some time, but as with any transition, students say it gets easier each day. 

While virtual classes last year were not the most effective method for all students to keep learning active, students acknowledge they met their purpose of maintaining a solid education for youth. Returning back to school in person has allowed students to get that high school experience that everyone deserves to experience and learn from. 

“Senior year is gonna be tough, but it’s my last year so let’s make it a good one,” Khuu said.