A High School Musical Reality

Hannah Ortiz

After graduating middle school, most freshmen come into high school expecting a high school musical reality. However, reality is never that fun and unfortunately, 2020’s reality is straight from another dimension.  Not only will the incoming freshmen not be getting the usual UACHS welcome, the upperclassmen won’t be seeing the fresh faces or meeting any newcomers. Because of all the changes this year and us having to adjust to a new way of learning, the freshmen still had their freshman academy this summer, but it was different from previous years.  

UACHS staff made sure the in person interactions were made in a clean and safe environment, but students were required to stay in their assigned groups, wear masks, and use cleaning products before and after entering a room. Although the new changes were made, staff member Lisa Sambula, believes the program was still beneficial for the students.

“The program was great considering the new circumstances, the students had an opportunity to meet some of their fellow students, and future teachers and staff,” said Sambula.

While the seniors are losing the end of their high school experience, the freshmen are missing their beginning. This year was supposed to be a new chapter for them; they were going to meet new people, make new connections, and start their fun. Now all of that is being replaced by unknown classmates and foreign teachers behind screens. Freshman Shaniyah Sims, feels that virtual learning is getting in the way of her freshman year.

“I feel like I’m missing out on the real freshman experience. I’m not getting the full experience because I’m communicating with others virtually,” said Sims. 

 What would’ve been normal socializing and making friends is now really stressful. Yea you get to stay home, but you’re missing out on key experiences and potential memories with staff and students. Freshman Layla Castoire, feels like she’s missing a lot of chances to build relationships with her classmates. 

“I feel like freshman year is the time to get a feel of a new beginning and meet new people, but virtual learning kind of prohibits that,” said Castoire.

Castoire doesn’t hate online learning, but it’s not exactly her favorite. She likes to have that one on one lesson with teachers, and be able to communicate without having connection problems.

“I find the work difficult sometimes, and at some moments I don’t even know what they want me to do, but my teachers are easy to reach so it’s not a problem for any questions I have,” said Castoire.

Most students are still finding difficulties navigating through the school websites. Some have never used Schoology, Powerschool, or Google Classroom. 

“I struggled with some of the websites I haven’t used before, but I just figured it out on my own,” said Castoire.

Samuel Vasquez, another UACHS freshman, feels as though the work isn’t a problem for him. Although he misses in person learning and building relationships, he doesn’t have any problems with the workload or getting to know his new teachers. 

“It’s exhausting looking at a screen all day, but when it comes to actually doing the assignments, personally, I’m doing just fine,” said Vasquez. 

With nothing but uncertainty in the air, I am certain we are all stressed and yearning to return back to our normal lives.


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