Students Adjust to In-Person School

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Rita’s Ice provided treats to students in celebration of their return to Banneker.

School is back in session and all grades are returning to the classroom after two years of virtual learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Two grades, freshmen and sophomores, have started off their high school experience, while the seniors and juniors are trying to settle into the crazy world that is Banneker.

The underclassmen wondered if the upperclassmen had any advice for the freshman and sophomores and about their transition from virtual learning. Just like the upperclassmen, the underclassmen were asked what they thought about high school so far, and how they viewed the upperclassmen.

Upperclassmen Advice

In 2020, the current upperclassmen had to leave high school and complete the remainder of the year and the next year at home.

SGA president, senior Bethlehem Tsegaye, suggests: “Do all homework on time, have a good relationship with teachers, participate in clubs, do community service hours, go to tutorials, and do as many AP classes as you can.”  Tsegaye said her experience was “kinda hard because I am still used to the feeling of being at home, but I will adjust so I can help myself but also the other 500 students I am responsible for.”

With advice from the voice of the students, underclassmen can take this advice and use it so that one day they might become a superstar just like Tsegaye.

Dance team founder, senior Saniyah Shabazz, suggested that the underclassmen, “stay on task, stay organized, have good time management, and don’t procrastinate.”

Junior Kareem Telemaque-Nelson, basketball player, said, “don’t procrastinate because the work will pile up and be harder to do at the end.”

“This year so far has been very smooth,” said Shabazz. “Like any other student my age I have areas where I can improve, but so far I can say that my 12th grade year has been the best year that I’ve ever had in Banneker.”

Shabazz, a role model for all students in Banneker because she nearly single-handedly started up Banneker’s dance team while completing her school work and assisting her peers after school at the Boys and Girls club.

Nelson said his transition back to Banneker “gave me the motivation to get my work done because I have a future to think of.”

Coming from a student-athlete, this could help the underclassmen who are doing sports but are still trying to maintain their schoolwork at the same time.

Underclassmen Views

As the upperclassmen prepare to leave Banneker, the new sophomores and freshmen are just starting off high school from virtual learning. This is the sophomores’ first year in an actual building, and although they are sophomores, they never got the proper first year of high school experience. The freshmen haven’t been in person since seventh grade.

Sophomore Janiya Drayton emphasized, “virtual learning is different because you’re navigating your academic life and your social life.”

Now that she has had some time in building, Drayton understands the challenges of being back from virtual learning.

She also pointed out that, “managing your time wisely, homework and extracurricular activities” have been something she struggles with since being back in person.

Another sophomore, Francis Csedrik, feels as though high school is “more difficult, but less stressful” as he returns from virtual learning. While being back virtually, Csedrick’s biggest struggle is “getting less sleep.” Sophomores had never experienced a full day of classes, having lunch with friends, and having an advisory in person.

When freshman Yosan Hagos applied to high school, she felt like she “wasn’t able to get to know about other high schools, and had to research on her own.” She never got the chance to see her other options in person.

Now Hagos says she “fears getting covid, but thinks she’ll be okay.”

Another freshman, Abigail Newton, feels that school is “different, but not that different.” As a freshman, she views schoolin the same way as her fellow classmate Hagos.

In her high school experience, Newton’s only struggle is “time management and studying for tests.”

Now sophomores and freshmen are not only are getting acquainted with each other, but also the upperclassmen as well. “They are intimidating,” says Drayton, “but once you get to know the upperclassmen, they’re cool.”