Students struggling to adapt to new normal

Grayson Salomon ‘22, Editor-in-Chief

Being back at school, let me tell you, is one of the best feelings I’ve felt in the last year and a half. Although I returned to school for a month in May last school year, it didn’t have that same feeling as it did before, but being back now has relit that spark that has been dormant for the entire pandemic. Being back in the physical classroom, seeing my friends in person, attending dances, rallies, games and just seeing the whole student body is so nice and refreshing after 15 months of looking at tiny Zoom boxes on a computer screen. 

Even though it’s exciting to see everyone again and get back into somewhat of a “new normal,” it hasn’t been all fun and games. Since we were forced into distance learning for about a year, adjusting back into in-person school was and still is a bit of a hassle. I was so used to waking up five to 10 minutes before my Zoom class that I basically forgot how to wake up on time. Waking up and having to actually get up and get dressed in uniform rather than sitting up in bed and turning off a laptop was, and still kind of is, difficult. 

Even though more people are starting to return to in person clubs and extracurriculars, some aren’t. We actually have to be present during meetings, and not just turn off our cameras and walk away. Not saying I always did this, but I know a lot of us did and in a way, still do. What I mean by this is a lot of people forgot about clubs during the pandemic, and even though we’ve had Club Rush, people still forget about them. 

This is due to the new schedule that Riordan has implemented to accommodate the increased class sizes. This year, we have two lunches split by upper and lower classes, meaning the whole student body is split during lunch. This means clubs cannot meet during lunch because not all members would be present, so club meetings would have to be at different times that conflict with other activities such as sports or work. 

Also, trying to balance extracurricular activities and school work is a bit hectic since now we actually meet in person rather than on Zoom. During the pandemic, deadlines were pretty much whenever so I could focus more on other activities. Like I mentioned, we actually have to be present and in person during meetings. This takes time out of our day, which puts more emphasis on extracurricular activities, which keeps me at school longer and leaves me tired and unmotivated to finish any class and homework I have. 

It’s currently October, and even though my grades visually look good, I know my work could be better and I can be better with my deadlines and turning my work in on time. Trying to find that balance we had prior to COVID between friends, clubs and school work is tough and I’m still trying to figure it all out. But, it’s getting better and better as the year progresses. 

My advice for anyone trying to find this balance again: stay motivated and give yourself a break. We are all getting adjusted to coming back in person fully, so it’s ok to be tired and fatigued at times, just don’t let it take over. Give yourself breaks from everything, turn off your phone and get off the PlayStation. Trust me, it’ll boost your motivation to do important stuff like college apps or past due work. We’ve been through so much and we have so much more to do, and if we’ve made it this far, we can get through so much more. Hang in there, we got this.