Grateful to go back

In-person learning has positives that cannot be recreated online

Rachel Kricsfeld, Staff Writer

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss sitting in an art classroom surrounded by my creative peers and their incredible artwork. Collecting my materials and getting started on a project was something I missed at the end of last semester. 

These past months had been the longest time we’d been out of school since before kindergarten, and I’m more thankful than ever to be walking through the halls of MN again.

After weighing the pros and cons of the options to go forth with this school year, I am supporting returning with 100% capacity mostly because of the difficulties of online learning.

The end of last year was an uncomfortable mix between my home life and my school life which I never wanted to experience. I became stressed before every Zoom meeting and I worried about technical mishaps. 

Learning from home didn’t feel right. My bedroom never acted as a learning environment for me, and I became lost. I had no motivation to do well or get my work done in a timely manner. The academic pressure I used to feel was gone because nobody knew what was going to happen with school and grades. 

After that experience, being back in person and able to interact with my friends and teachers safely has brought me joy. I now have more encouragement to be productive and have specific deadlines that keep me on track. 

The lack of social interaction with people outside of my family was detrimental to my mental health. I realized how much I took spending time with my friends for granted. Being able to see my classmates in person and even spending time with them outside of school is such an improvement from last semester. 

Fortunately, the district is also allowing students to continue to learn remotely if they chose to. This option makes it so immunosuppressed individuals can learn from home, protect their families and stay healthy. Although this option is necessary for some individuals, I feel that returning in person was ultimately the best option for me. 

I feel safe in the building and comfortable with the people around me. I think the requirement of masks on everyone in the building is a great way to keep peoples’ germs from spreading. The hand sanitizers at every door makes each room feel cleaner. Every classroom is also as spread out as can be to keep everyone as socially distant as possible. With all these safety precautions, I don’t feel like the school is going to be a corona hotspot. 

All in all, I find going to school in person to be favorable. Being in a learning environment with motivation from teachers and peers encourages me to stay on top of things. Being physically involved in activities again has kept me from getting bored of my daily routine. I’m beyond excited to be outside of my bedroom for most of the day and back with people that make me happy.