COVID-19 v. Freshmen ’24

Freshmen adjust to life in high school while attempting to traverse a global pandemic.


Emma Leslie

Freshman are working on writing assignment in Ms. Albertsons class.

Emma Leslie, Staff writer

Freedom. That is what most people first tell you about as you are going into high school. What they forget to mention is the stress, thousands of new responsibilities, the maze that is your school, and the towering 18-year-old boys that could be 36.  

Now throw in a pandemic. Masks, social distancing, constant hand washing, the spraying of desks and the fear of being quarantined all hang over the heads of students this year.  

This year, most schools are returning in the midst of Covid-19, adding stress to teachers, parents, and students, particularly the incoming freshmen. 

Being a freshman on its own can be a challenge. Overcoming the new school, new people, overload of homework, activities and sports, all while trying to maintain a social life is no easy feat. 

I was nervous to start high school because I was worried about finding my classes and not getting lost,” Freshman Abi Traster said.” Being a freshman at a new school was a little scary.”

 Take that fear and multiply it by a thousand. Starting this new chapter with the risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus is enough to intimidate any newcomer. 

“Starting high school during a pandemic was scary,” Traster said. “Always having a mask on, plenty of hand sanitizer and trying to stay healthy is a daily challenge.” 

It is not just nerve wracking for the students either. Teachers are fraught with uneasiness for these freshmen as well. 

“Freshman year is terrifying enough for these kids, let alone learning while wearing a mask, having to clean your desk, etc.,” Freshman teacher Ms. Albertson said. “I really had no idea what was going to happen or how I was going to handle day-to-day issues in addition to Covid-related issues not wearing masks properly, refusing to wear one, etc.” 

 “So I felt really nervous about teaching to the level that my students deserve with everything else going on around us,” Albertson goes on to say. 

Though the risk of coming back to school was high, it seemed to be one most students were willing to take. After so long of just sitting at home, kids were itching to get back into a schedule again.

“I was ready to get back in a routine and be around people again.” Traster said. 

Missing a routine wasn’t the only reason kids wanted to be back. Sports, a big aspect of most students’ high school career, was another thing students were yearning to participate in again. 

“I missed participating in sports and hope to see a full season for cross country and basketball.” Traster said.

It is apparent in the classroom how badly students wanted to be back as well. 

“Usually, no one is ready to come back because we are all loving our care-free summers, but this year, I think everyone was ready for the structure, the normalcy, and to see their friends.” Albertson said.

In spite of current events, freshmen seem to be adapting to the new environment around them quite well.

“I seem to be adjusting to high school, finding my classes, meeting new people, adjusting to the new way of learning, and getting used to my new teachers.” Traster said. 

This year will definitely be a struggle, but just like the students, teachers are looking forward to getting back to normal, whatever that might mean, because they too missed their students.

I still look forward to seeing my students throughout the week, getting to know them, and watching them grow throughout the year. I always refer to my students as “my kids” and it’s only a matter of time before these students slide into that category.” Albertson said. 

Despite the hardships students and teachers are facing, this is shaping up to be a good school year. Freshman are adapting to the new school so far. Luckily for them, they get to adjust to the pandemic along with the rest of us, one step at a time.