Students Adjust to In-Person Learning

     After a long year of staring at screens, painful Zoom calls, an always changing hybrid schedule and constant uncertainty, Fenwick is returning to school full in-person for the 2021-2022 school year. Everyone seemed to get used to waking up late on e-learning days and having that extra touch of forgiveness from teachers for late work or the dress code. But now every desk is full and classrooms have returned to their former glory. For upperclassmen, this is familiar to them. They’ve done this before without masks; it’s just been a while. However, for Fenwick’s sophomores and freshmen, this presents a daunting challenge and a true mental, physical and emotional challenge. Fenwick students are adjusting, they are resilient, and even if the return is a challenge, there are many positives. 

     To a senior, who has watched the previous graduating classes have the joys of their senior year stripped away, it’s an exciting prospect to be getting the most normal experience possible once again. Senior Mia Scharpf said “As a senior it is so nice to finally be able to see all my friends’ faces, because I really missed that last year. … Everyone is definitely excited, and feeling better than they did last year.” 

Maria Romero

     To a sophomore, who hasn’t yet had the true Fenwick “experience,” it’s definitely a big change. Sophomore Ben Schoeph said, “The transition has been pretty good overall; compared to last year it’s definitely been more exhausting having to wake up early every day…” In general, exhaustion has been the issue many Fenwick students can commiserate with, especially after the first week.

     How can a Fenwick student cope with this change if they’re struggling? School social worker Ms. Winkler had advice for those struggling with the adjustment: “Change is hard! As an adult, I still get anxious when dealing with change. But, it is completely normal! I would suggest 

being patient with yourself and allowing yourself to feel whatever comes up with any big change. Take some time each day to practice self-care. The big one would be: ask for help when you need it! Everyone needs help sometimes and as a community we should work to end the stigma around mental health and seeking help.” 

     Fenwick students are handling the return to school in different ways, and even if it’s exhausting, there are so many positives such as meeting more people, more opportunities, and improved learning. It may be hard now, but Fenwick students will adjust and grow into their former potential.