2021: A Year In Review

Anna Gurskaia, Editor In Chief

The current fully in-person school year compared to last year’s half remote year has altered the educational outlook of students across the globe in both a positive and negative way. With so many changes from lifestyle to grading, WSHS students are in debate about which year was more beneficial towards their goals and education. The variety of feedback from students has ranged from favoring remote learning and seeing in person school as horrible, to in school learning being very much an improvement from the remote. Every student’s remote experience was also different based on the impact of their home situations. Students were clear on their reasoning about why each specific school year was better or worse. 

Falak Kansara, a sophomore said, “Last year was so much better, it was easier, there was more freedom, and less classes to attend. This year is harder because there are too many classes to do work for, and not enough time for all of the work that comes with them.” WSHS students adjusted to the new normal of attending school in person facing various challenges. 

Some people don’t have the access to a good learning environment at home, as some share rooms with siblings, don’t have desks, or a quiet, comfortable set up for online learning. Many students cared for their ill family members while also trying to balance out logging into meets and participating with the camera on. Another negative factor that affected the outcome of remote learning was people’s motivation was low. When you’ve disciplined yourself to wake up early in the morning, get ready and get to school, it’s hard to adjust to the new routine. Suddenly you wake up and you realize you will be at home the entire several hours of the school day. Some students found a balance, but others logged in and went back to bed with the class continuing on in the background.

“I like this year better because I was fully online last year. I like how there’s people pressuring me to do my work, because it motivates me to get it done,” senior Gunay Kabilova said.  Students are around peers and teachers which helps them to be less tempted by distractions.

With this current, and hopefully the years continuing, in-person setting, students are adjusting and finding a way to balance work, family, and school all over again. Among all the different opinions, more students agree that it is so much better being back in the building, all together. Still, adjusting to the early start and workload has been difficult especially as we enter the long winter months ahead. 

Here are some tips to help manage your school and life balance:

Set a daily routine that works for you. It’s so easy to come home and just put school off until later on in the night, which leads to long nights of rushed work and precious sleep loss. Getting home and starting homework within the first hour – unless you have scheduled priorities first like work, family, etc – even though you just came home from a long day of assignments, will help you so much in the long run. You can then get to do everything else that is crucial to you, without having to worry about the hours of homework waiting for you up ahead. If you do, however, have prior commitments right after school, finding a way to get in some time at school to start off on homework would be super beneficial too. This is also a chance to get any help from your teachers, as many of them stay after school, or are available during lunch hours to help you with the areas you may be struggling with. Communicate with your teachers if you need help in a certain subject or area. They are there for a reason and you shouldn’t let yourself be stressed out and confused when they are available to walk you through things. Reach out to them by emails, or extra hours, ask questions during class, and stay focused! Work on the assignments in class as much as you can to reduce that extra amount of work at home. Also, back to that precious sleep, make sure to get it. You cannot expect your body to function with good energy and strength throughout the school day if you haven’t let it rest the night before. School and grades are important, but never more than your own health. Sometimes it’s not the end of the world to set aside an assignment and just go to sleep. You will have a better focus the next day, and will be able to makeup whatever it is you were so stuck on. You got this. We have about six months left. Go crush this year!!