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Emergency at-home learning days cause stress for Class of 2022

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Marissa Mallory | Lehi Free Press

On Jan. 12, Alpine School District called for two “online learning” days and rescheduled Lehi High School’s Winter Formal due to “the recent spike in positive cases of COVID-19 and significant student and staff absenteeism.” It may have only been two days of online learning but for class of 2022, it sparked panic. 

My first thought reaction was “I hope my senior year doesn’t turn out like my older sister’s did.” She was part of the graduating class of 2020 and I watched how quarantine affected her. My sister, Aleah Mallory, said, “I lost everything. It felt like I was reading a really exciting book and right at the climax, someone shut it and I never got to see how it ended. I didn’t get those final bonding moments with my friends that make you feel like you will keep in touch with them forever.Instead, we sat in quarantine and left to start our new lives without even leaving a goodbye message in each other’s yearbooks.”  

While the class of 2022 realizes that the restrictions are put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, memories of 2020’s lockdown have this year’s seniors worried they might lose their senior Prom, sports season, and even graduation. 

Lehi High School senior, Melia Finken expressed her concerns, “I think that the changes that are happening are scary. It scares me to think that I might have to go through what the class of 2020 went through. I don’t want to lose friendships like I did last time or try to figure out who I am again. If we had to go full-on lockdown again, I don’t think I would handle it well mentally. I would lose my second track season, and probably wouldn’t get recruited for college. The mask mandate is fine for me, I can handle that. I already have to wear masks at work. It’s the idea of another shutdown that scares me. It’s the ‘long break’ that is freaking me out. There are so many kids that don’t want to miss another year of school. We’re already technically behind. I am worried that if this happens again, we aren’t going to bounce back.”

Finken’s thoughts are shared with many high school students. Jaden Warr, a senior from Skyridge High School says, “I understand the precautions they have to take to make sure everyone is safe and feels safe. But I worry with the rise in cases we’re going to have another quarantine situation and just go straight to only online without giving the students the opportunity to choose if they want to do in person schooling or not. So it just worries me because I don’t want to have my senior year wasted by canceling all of the school programs and such in the cause of Covid.”

On top of missing out on meaningful experiences, quarantine caused depression, loss of friends, and stress for the future. Even 2021’s altered school schedule robbed students of essential life experiences. In Alpine School District, school was only held four days a week, there was no lunchtime when students could sit and talk with their friends most of the year, there were no dances, and a lot of students chose to do online school, so you didn’t even get to see all ofyour friends. This has affected students no matter their age.However, for those not in the graduating class, it is easier to see the positives along with the negatives. 

Erick Chichia, a freshman from Willowcreek Middle School talks about his experience with quarantine. “One of the ways quarantine has affected me is that I have been able to spend more time with family and get to connect with family more than before. However, because of quarantine, I haven’t been able to spend as much time with friends. I am nervous about another quarantine happening in the future, the reason why I am is because even though I do get to spend a lot more time with family, I don’t really get to see my friends in person nearly as often.”

We do not know what the future will bring us, but I know I am speaking for many when I say that I hope 2020 does not repeat itself. For now, the class of 2022 is trying to stay optimistic and like many others, we hope this pandemic ends soon. 

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