How Sophomores Feel Returning to in-Person School

COVID-19 affected students of all ages, whether they went fully in-person, hybrid, or fully virtual last school year. Centennial High sophomores practically went from the middle of 8th grade to their 10th grade year, and some have never stepped foot in the school before. Understandably, they’ve voiced their frustrations, reliefs, and worries for the past and new school years. 

With the return of in-person school, there comes a lot of uncertainty and nervousness for all students, equipped with masks and new individual chromebooks. Lots of students have enjoyed in-person schooling better than virtual, however they’ve voiced their concerns and expectations for this year. 

Due to their 8th grade year being cut short, sophomores missed out on a lot of end of year and graduation experiences. Julie Milinichik voiced her disappointment. “Not having a graduation made the start of 9th grade not feel real in a sense, like our whole freshman year of highschool was a waiting period,” she stated. “I wish we could’ve had a graduation ceremony, picnic, and the formal and i feel like i did miss out because we didn’t have any of the end of year events.” 

Some students have different views on the abrupt ending, such as Layna Do.“I’m not really upset that we left unceremoniously,” she mentioned. “I didn’t have the best 8th grade year and 8th grade graduation isn’t really as important as 12th grade so it wasn’t really a big deal for me. I mean, the events would’ve been nice but I’m not upset that we didn’t have them.” 

Is virtual or in-person better? The highly debated topic has many students on the fence. Sophomores like Zoomel Ghauri mention the pros and cons of both. “I think with virtual you get more free time, at least like in between classes you’re not rushing and stuff. I think with virtual you can also…I guess communicate with the teachers easily through email,” Ghauri said. “With in person it’s better because you can go up to them, and you can’t get that same level of communication over virtual because in person you’re like face to face talking to them. Same with friends, you can interact with friends.”

COVID was another factor that was mentioned by Layna. “Well the benefits for virtual are obviously like covid, like you won’t get sick most likely,” She stated. “And then the benefits here are like you actually…like the teachers can actually see that you’re paying attention, and you can actually participate in extracurricular activities, it’s like you’re just more productive.”

Julie also mentioned COVID and the close proximity to others. “I don’t think some of the covid precautions are the best, but if most people are vaccinated I think it’s okay. It’s just the hallways are all really packed.”

The students have also shared their criticisms on how back to school was handled, especially with the school buses. “The only [criticism] that I can think of is not even related to covid or anything is the bus situation,” Layna said. “I have the red part, so I have to get here really early and then I have to leave super late.” 

There seems to be an overall consensus that in-person school is a better experience for the sophomores, except for the small inconveniences such as having to wake up earlier, get out of bed, and having less breaks. In general, the sophomores are happy to be back in school, and are ready to have a relatively normal school year. 


For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan