We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofAva McGhee
What I thought was, “Oh, this is going to be easy, probably easier than last year and I still get to see my friends! Maybe not all of them, but most of them.”
Covid-19 hit America and everyone in the world was under lockdown and we had to do online school for the last month of school and it was pretty easy regarding the fact that we didn’t have a lot of work to do since it was the last few weeks of school. But then we all found out we had to do mostly all online school for the upcoming year.
At the beginning of the school year, I was going to school and doing online but when I got to school on the first day the environment was just so off. You could barely hear chatter in the hallways and even in the classrooms it was very quiet. At the time I was just worried about not being able to see my friends especially since I only had one class with a friend and we couldn’t even go sit in the cafeteria for lunch. 
A lot of the people I would talk to decided to go all online because the environment was just totally off. People that I knew that would get straight A’s last year are now almost failing their classes because this pandemic and the change in the school’s environment just impacted their mental health so much. Teens in school right now have no motivation to do their work or even get out of bed because of the sudden change that has happened. Especially if they have parents who are always on their backs about turning stuff in on time, it just puts more stress and pressure on them. It’s so hard to explain unless you are experiencing it. All of this online work and Covid just really stressed me out. Teachers think now that we’re mostly online and at home that we don’t have other responsibilities we have to take care of. Sometimes my teachers will overload me and my other classmates with work and that just puts so much stress on me and I am sure my other classmates as well. Some of us have siblings we have to take care of and a job and they need to start understanding that.
I realize now that we really shouldn’t take education in person for granted because even though a lot of us don’t like it and don’t enjoy school, I’m sure that almost everyone would agree that being in school with everyone is so much better than being by yourself at home trying to turn in your work on time. I’m so grateful for all of my teachers who usually let me turn in my work past the due date if I need the extra time, but some teachers don’t grant that opportunity. We are still working to get used to this change, but it may take just a little while longer.

© Ava McGhee. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.