Last week, Marblehead High School finally returned to fully in-person school, something that a quarter of the school has never experienced at MHS. With COVID keeping us in varying remote and hybrid schedules throughout this past year, the Class of 2024 has never spent a full school day in the high school. As of last week, that changed, and freshmen finally got to experience a full day of high school.
The first big change with full in-person school is that there are no more remote classes (unless you’re in the remote cohort). Personally, I love not having remote classes anymore. Finishing your morning classes in school and getting to go home, only to have to log onto the computer for another two classes was exhausting. I also found it difficult to focus and feel engaged during remote classes, so I much prefer learning in school. Even though we are now spending more time in the building than during the hybrid schedule, the days haven’t felt that long, and actually being done with school when we leave the building is nice.
Another change is that we finally get to eat lunch at school. This is a first for freshmen at the high school. Coming into this week I had no idea how lunch even worked at MHS. Overall, I like the way lunch is structured, and the schedule isn’t as confusing as I thought it would be. The faculty has done a good job making sure there is room for everyone to safely eat outside and inside, should the need arise. I really like eating outside though, and being able to choose pretty much anywhere on campus to eat is exciting and a freedom we didn’t have at the middle school. We also get to spend time with our friends. Since we’ve been coming into school five days a week, we’ve been able to see and really talk to our friends in school. For the first time all year, I’ve talked to people I’ve only seen in passing for months, and I have better connected with old friends I don’t see much outside of school.
One more first for freshmen is the new schedule, or what is really the old schedule. Since freshmen weren’t at MHS last year, we have never used the normal schedule until this week, and while at first it seemed confusing like the lunch schedule appeared to be, it’s been easy to memorize and follow. Finally getting to spend the whole day in school with the proper schedule makes it feel like we’ve finally started actual high school, instead of the various forms of COVID school.
The biggest change I’ve noticed in only these few days from hybrid to fully in-person is how everything feels almost normal. I’d forgotten what it was like to bring lunch to school and not have remote classes. Now, aside from masks and socially distanced lunch, school is pretty much back to how it was before COVID. With more and more people getting vaccinated, and an adolescent vaccine waiting for approval, the world is hopefully on its way to returning to normal as well.