A year unlike any other

Second period journalism students sound off on the struggles of surviving this very abnormal school year

A year unlike any other

Brooke Brogan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Without a doubt, this school year has brought a multitude of challenges for our students, halting sports, activities, and normal life. While in the middle of a deadly global pandemic, students have had to deal with the disappointments and setbacks of learning through a computer screen. The “fun” side of high school was taken out for most students, and a general loss of motivation ensued. However, this school year has also resulted in personal growth for many. As journalism students, we were tasked with reflecting on our experiences in a raw and authentic paragraph. There is no sugarcoating the effects of the pandemic on students, and we hope you find these statements to be either relatable or enlightening. Things can only go up from here, but listening to students’ experiences is key to ensuring a successful start to the school year this fall. Please feel free to leave a comment if anything in particular resonated with you, or if you would like to offer additional insight on the unprecedented nature of this school year. 

Anadelia Anderson – Class of 2021

This year has probably been one of the most challenging years, not only as a student but also as a teenager in today’s world. I think it’s fair to say that our generation is far different from other generations. We are always “go, go, go” and have goals and ambitions to seek at such a young age. Although with COVID, none of that could happen – we were faced with the reality of walking off of campus as a junior and coming back to school with only a couple of months left to experience the senior activities. We all faced some type of depression or anxiety this year, which I think was healthy for everyone. It might sound weird, but everyone had a chance to check in with their mental state and take a step back to see if they were really taking care of themselves. This has really taught me patience and how to adapt to changes quickly. Additionally, our relationships with teachers have drastically changed. We went from seeing them every day in class to just giving them a thumbs up in the comment section to let them know we were still paying attention when in reality we were most likely sleeping or watching Tik Toks on our beds. I think seniors felt neglected and that no one cared if we would ever get to have a full senior year. All we wanted was to experience that last football game, that prom dance, or even that last rally. Somehow, we have still made an impact on campus, whether it was virtually or in person, and I think we will never forget those memories we did have despite this hard year. 

Hannah Laffoon – Class of 2021

As a senior, this year has been a huge roller coaster. I am upset about the fact that I did not get to spend assemblies and lunches going crazy around the school with my friends and classmates. I’ve been at Enochs for four whole years of my life, and I am sad that the seniors did not really get any special events or that feeling of “ruling the school.” Instead, we got internet issues and bad connections that have caused us to miss assignments or get marked absent when in reality it’s just our computer. However, I do like the fact that I get to just roll over in bed and turn on my laptop. I am happy that we are finding a way to make graduation work so I can spend a day standing side-by-side (well, 6 feet apart) with my friends and the people that I’ve shared memories and laughs within classes. Senior year was definitely a whole new life experience that I never expected, and it is a story that only my senior class can tell. 

Ashley Singh – Class of 2021

This school year has been anything but normal; I am sure that everyone can agree. The sad part was losing my senior year. We weren’t able to have our normal activities that celebrate senior year – the activities that we all have been looking forward to. Another challenge was coping with distance learning, and it was not easy. One of the rewards was definitely being able to earn graduation. Although it was not a school year any of us would have asked for, it will be one we won’t forget.

Gabe Tsuakmoto – Class of 2021

This past year has been a year of forced personal growth. During this past year, we have all discovered new aspects of ourselves that we may have never uncovered otherwise, and for a majority of us, this growth was for the better. Through times of great frustration and struggle, the best versions of ourselves emerged. This may sound overly optimistic, but that is also something that this past year has forced us to do. Through all of the dark times that never seemed to end, we all had to learn how to find optimism and hope in even the smallest things that were available to us. It has been very strange concluding my final year in the public school system virtually, but it almost feels fitting in a way. School throughout the years has been a roller coaster of highs and lows, and this year has definitely been the ultimate conclusion to this pattern.

Ryan Zoch – Class of 2021

This year has been filled with a lot of doubt about how it would go and whether or not we would eventually come back, and after that, it was students failing. A lot of students, including myself, have really struggled this year with grades because of motivation or effort. It has been hard to keep our heads up to finish this year off, especially for seniors. Mentally, this year has been draining, and really hard to put it into words besides one: SAD. I will also say that I personally struggled. I guess it was just tough to find that last boost of effort to kick myself into doing work and school. You could say senioritis hit me real hard, and I know I’m not the only one because many students I know have also struggled or had difficulty finishing this year.

Brooke Brogan – Class of 2022

This school year has been unforgettable, to say the least. As a transfer student, my only known experience of Enochs was through a computer screen. This forced me to get out of my comfort zone in order to get involved and meet my classmates. Thankfully, I never felt out of place because everyone was super welcoming and kind. Living through a pandemic during my junior year was not an easy feat, but I am beyond grateful that I did not lose any loved ones to the virus. I hope that there will be normal activities and events next year so that my last year as a high school student will be one to remember. 

Isabel Bocanegra – Class of 2022

The past school year has definitely been one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever endured. In the beginning, trying to get used to the new norms and online school was already difficult in itself. The isolation from quarantine added on top of the stress from school really made things a lot more depressing and draining. Now that the school year is coming to an end, I can say that I’m truly proud of myself after everything I’ve gone through in the past year. I feel that I’ve learned a lot about myself and learned how to be more grounded and patient. There is still hope that the rest of the year will be great – having a positive mindset is key.

Logan Eckerfield – Class of 2022

This year was obviously difficult. Not just for the students, but for the staff also. Nobody wanted to sit at home. Online school was very hard to get used to, and it is sad to think that I am so used to this. Online school isn’t something we should be used to. Over the school year, I struggled with the idea of not coming back to school. I know that I have the opportunity to come back, but when I got in such a good rhythm balancing sports and getting school done, I felt that going back to school would not benefit me. A reward this year was gaining an appreciation for school. While online, I was able to focus more and not have the distraction of in-class friends or class clowns. I know that it was hard, but I am excited to start my senior year fresh.

Alana Lamb – Class of 2022

This past year has been rough for me; with the pandemic hitting in March 2020, a lot has changed. School ended mid-year, I had to attend online school five months later, soccer had an eight-month break, I committed to Seattle University to play Division 1 soccer, and lastly, my whole life seemed to be on pause. When school ended mid-year in 2020, I was excited at first because they said we are going to be on a “break” for only 2 weeks. However, five months later, I was doing distance learning. I haven’t been inside a classroom in over a year, and I haven’t seen my school friends in over a year either. In soccer before the pandemic, my team was doing really well and was about to make the playoffs. That all changed when Covid came. I wasn’t able to see my teammates for months, and the league that we were a part of, the Development Academy, had to shut down because of the lack of funds. It was very frustrating, and I just wanted everything to go back to normal. I missed my teammates, my friends, and playing games. Finally, after eight months, I was able to play my first game back, and it was so much fun! Another positive thing that happened to me during this pandemic is that I committed to Seattle University to play Division 1 soccer, which is a dream come true. I am the first-ever in my family to be committed to a Division 1 college. However, I still wonder how different my life might have been if the pandemic was never here; would I be committed to a different college? I always think about things like this, but I need to focus on the present and future to see what surprises and challenges come my way.

Gabrielle Martin – Class of 2022

This year has been a bit of a challenge for me, especially with a few things since it has been during the pandemic as well. As a new student here at Enochs, it was hard adapting and making friends. I transferred here mainly because my last school didn’t have a drama program, and I want to be involved in drama in my future, so it was a struggle to not be able to be a part of a program. Now that I have transferred, I’ve faced many struggles with meeting new people and adapting academically. Math has always been a struggle for me, so entering this school in the middle of a math lesson made it difficult for me to be able to catch up. Before quarantine, I would say that I was a very outgoing person and an extrovert, but now I’ve become quieter, which makes it hard to be social at a much bigger school. I’ve enjoyed my new school and experiencing this new environment and meeting new people, but it has been a struggle overall. 

Christina Pappas – Class of 2022

Deadline after deadline, classes on Teams, isolation from everyone and everything I had been used to. All of a sudden I had both way too much time on my hands, and none at all to do what I needed to do. To be honest, I did enjoy the later start times for school, and the peace that came with being in a home environment that I wasn’t as stressed in. But at the same time, it felt like everything I grew accustomed to was so suddenly ripped away, and a suffocating feeling quickly began to overwhelm me. And though I knew that so many other people had it worse than me, and I tried my best to find some sort of calm in that, I wasn’t all that successful. Throughout this time, I have also found that I need to be more considerate with myself and willing to come to terms with the fact that it’s totally fine for me to not always bend over backward in order to live up to the high expectations that I’ve set for myself. I hope to carry on this idea throughout my life as well, but especially during a global pandemic, I think it is incredibly crucial to remember.  

Aurora Rivers – Class of 2022

From worrying about people we love getting sick to losing a loved one last year, this year has been really difficult. I spent a lot of time in my room listening to music and just being home without always being on the run, and that was the best part. I loved laying by the pool, learning to cook, and just having what we never really get enough of – time. On the other hand, every day was full of worry. Will we get sick? I heard so and so was exposed. Someone is in the hospital, someone has symptoms. We had to stay in our houses, looking at everything that was shut down and wondering if those businesses will make it. Now we slowly approach the return to normal, and it feels pretty amazing. 

Jay Tolentino – Class of 2022

This school year has been hectic for everyone of all grade levels. Life went from being normal and going to school every day to having a full year (including summer) off from school. A challenge students have had to face with distance learning is difficulty staying concentrated and learning properly. Many students have reported a drop in their grades due to distance learning, and this could lead to anxiety or any other mental health issue, as you are not performing as well academically as you were in a classroom. Another challenge was not being able to see your friends, which for some people, are their biggest sources of happiness. As bad as distance learning was, it had some benefits. People with social anxiety definitely benefited from distance learning, as they could focus more on their work rather than who is around them. Distance learning hasn’t really altered my perspective, other than how I should cherish being around my friends at school more and do more things out of my comfort zone since I had months and months taken away from me.

Isaiah Toma – Class of 2022

Online school is never something I thought I would experience for even a day when I enrolled in Enochs High School during the summer of 2018. I would say that these past few months and my whole junior year have been something I will never forget. Online school has not only brought me school in my PJ’s, but also many other opportunities like more time to do school work and to make sure it is done the right way. Online school has also brought me closer with my friends, as it was very easy to just be in class and hang with friends at the same time. With online classes also came limited sports, and we did not have a sports season until seven months later than it was supposed to begin. To add to that, the seasons were shortened and were very different than normal. I enjoyed online school as much as I could, but I would have much rather been on campus all year learning.

Matthew Nicolich – Class of 2022

Some challenges I had were doing assignments and going to classes. I overslept and missed classes sometimes, and the assignments felt optional the whole year. Some rewards were that I grew as a person. It altered my perspective by having me look at everything differently.

Divya Prasad – Class of 2022

Things go by fast, just like our parents would always say. So I hope with all of my heart that each one of you cherishes these precious moments we have spent together because no matter how much we may all want to, there is a chance that you can’t come back to high school. There’s a universal truth we all have to face, whether or not we want to. Everything eventually comes to an end. As much as I’ve looked forward to this day, I’ve always disliked endings. The last day of summer, the final chapter of a good book, the end with close friends. But endings are inevitable, leaves fall and you close the book. Today is one of those days for all of us. Today we say our goodbyes. But as Winnie the Pooh once said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Until next year, my friends!

Lily Carr – Class of 2022

This year has been a year to remember but one I would kind of like to forget. Sadly, you find out who your real friends are, but you also realize that it doesn’t matter what people think about you because true friends stick by your side and are the only ones that matter. The school year has been very rough because we have not been able to easily access a teacher’s help and were given a lot of work. Junior year was known to be one of the hardest years without COVID, so adding that onto our plate has made it a lot harder. Our senior year is coming up, and it is our last year of high school. A hard thing to grasp is the fact that freshman year was our only full year of high school, and it feels that everything has gone by ten times faster than it was already supposed to.

Keith Orona – Class of 2022 

Although this school year has been rough because of the Coronavirus, there has been a lot of good and bad. A few bad things have occurred, but good things have come as well. For a long time, I went without sports, and it was one of the hardest things as an athlete to deal with. But the sun came out from the clouds, and we were able to have all sports seasons this year. I have not been able to go to school and see my friends, but luckily we all see each other weekly and always have a good time. Covid is definitely a pain in the butt, but with good friends and good motives, you can make your life the way you want it.

Logan Gibson – Class of 2022

This year was a huge adjustment for everyone in the world. The uncertainty of school and other activities has made this school year very difficult. The lack of in-person collaboration caused many students to not participate as much during online meetings, which made the News website take much longer to start up than what was originally planned. However, this year was not all bad. Being a part of the start of the new Enochs Eagle Eye student news website was an amazing experience. This year was difficult and frustrating at times, but it taught us all many things and was a great learning experience.

Tania Brierty – Class of 2023

This year has been confusing, full of struggles, and completely weird. In my personal experience, online school was hard at first due to the fact that I’m not so good at technology, so doing assignments and school work was a challenge. Math has always been a very troublesome subject for me, and online school made that issue 10x worse, causing me to not understand the work, how to do it, or even where to find the assignments. Though it’s been hard, online school has had some advantages. I like the fact that I am able to go at my own pace in certain classes and write/do my work faster than I could’ve before. I also enjoy sitting in bed and eating breakfast with my mom. But I will not lie, my social cues and ability to be around others have gotten worse. The other day when I finally came back to school in real life, I felt very anxious and scared to be around so many people. I hope that next year I will be coming every day of the week and that my social skills will improve. 

Sam Bryngleson – Class of 2023

The past year has actually been fairly good for me. As someone who doesn’t like to go to school or do a lot of socializing, being away and at home has actually been great for me. The year had no drama, less stress, and almost no colds. School was hard at times and some teachers are annoying and difficult, but overall it felt easier. I had a better schedule, even if not a great one, and I was more comfortable when doing assignments. Group projects were a lot more comfortable as well because it was all through a screen, and I never had to do any awkward “this is me” presentations or deal with annoying seat partners. I was able to snack at my own time and still talk to my friends even while in class. Even though I’ve rarely seen my friends in person, I’ve texted them all the time and still felt happy with how I was speaking with them. Even though there were some difficult parts, I’ve been enjoying my time at home overall. 

Josh Gonzalez – Class of 2023

This year has felt very short and challenging in my opinion. I have had no motivation throughout this entire year. I never had motivation in school, but online school made it even worse. Actually coming to school has allowed me to get more work done than online school. For some people, it’s the other way around. But online school and the pandemic will continue for a while, at least that’s what I think and it seems to be like that. There haven’t been any rewards or anything new to learn from online school, just even less motivation. I think there is no way to have motivation other than just dealing with it and trying to at least get work finished either way. Not much is going to change next year; that’s for sure.

Miranda Macias – Class of 2023

This past school year has been a rollercoaster of emotions and events. I gained, lost, and even got closer with new friends, and all I have to say is that I’m grateful. I’m grateful for everything I have gone through during this pandemic because it made me the person I am today. I had to face taking care of both of my parents who had Covid in the early stages of the pandemic, fearing I could lose them. I also had to deal with depression and anxiety, but persevered and never gave up. This school year is something I will forever be grateful for because I have learned so much and will take what I have learned with me forever. 

Abigayle McKinney – Class of 2023

This has been the most challenging year of my life in every aspect – mentally, emotionally, and physically. It has brought me face-to-face with what I fear most: uncertainty and loss of control. I could spend hours talking about this year and everything I have learned, everything I’ve experienced. After the initial period of grief over everything I had lost and was losing, I was faced with a new dilemma – free time with no end date. This sounds weird, but as a busy body, living life in maximum capacity 24/7, having time to just sit around was strange. I learned so much about my mental health and how important it is to give myself grace, time, and care. I sorted out my priorities and learned how to be with myself and enjoy that time. Most importantly, I developed a bond with my family that I would have never been able to do otherwise, and despite all the pain this year has put me through, I will be forever grateful for the time I have been given with my family and to learn new things. Now, I will face my future with joy and confidence, welcoming uncertainty because I have learned how to overcome it. 

Mackaelah Rodriguez – Class of 2024

This year has been intense, and everyone has had a large number of various emotions going on during this school year. Some were able to take the major learning changes in stride, and others stumbled along the way. I know many people who felt overwhelmed and tired by the end of the year. All of these changes that were made very last minute were difficult for not only teachers but students as well. We all faced our own difficulties and dealt with them in our own way. Everyone did their best with the situation that they were faced with and did what they could to make the most of a terrible incident. In the end, when we reflect on what happened and everything that the youth had to deal with this year, we realize just how strong and resilient this generation is.