Redefining the idea of normalcy

This school year has made many students redefine their idea of normalcy. Many South Windsor High School students have been taking the hybrid approach this year. Majority of these students have been used to the quiet hallways this year and it was kind of strange seeing so many students come back this week. At the same time it is very nice to see most people back because you get some sense of normalcy back. However not everything feels normal due to the new schedule here that has caused many students to question the new format. 

The experience is now different for both in person and virtual students.  Hallways are full and busy, yet Google Meets are now empty. Google Meets had started with over 20 people in one meeting, barely fitting on the screen together. Multiple faces popped up and went with multiple texts in chat boxes, leaving distance learners to feel as if they weren’t alone at home. With the new quarter starting, distance learners see a lack of faces online and more pictures of in person school. It feels silent now, with no noise inside their screens, but the real life classrooms bustling with chatter and people.

For full time distance learners, everything feels somewhat impersonal, because they are on a screen for 85 minutes, 4 times a day. SWHS distance learners communicate through a chat box, or through a computer screen, lacking the connection of hearing real human voices. For many distance learners, staying stationary all day, committed to their screens, can make them extremely antsy.

Full time distance learning makes students feel like they are losing touch with reality and peers. Many students are now missing being in school and wish they could return back to a normal school day, something many of them never thought they would wish for. 

Many recognize why the 85 minute classes may seem like a good decision. Kids can finish their homework, and have time left over, and it also is increasing their attention spans, further preparing them for if they choose to go to college.

However, 461 kids, and that number increases daily, have signed the petition to get rid of the 85 minute schedule. A senior from the SWHS student advisory board shares “It feels like we were voicing concerns about things that we wouldn’t be able to change.” Students need to be heard especially during these difficult times.

The new schedule also affects students’ focus and mental well being, especially for full time distance learners. “We’ve been ending up spending the last 30 minutes on our phones, some kids even taking naps.” This year is already so hard for so many reasons, we as students need some form of normalcy.