The Current Challenges that Face the Student Body

     Freshman year is about making friends and becoming comfortable in a new environment. In a normal year, this is already challenging, but when you add a pandemic on top of all that, the challenges multiply. While hybrid learning may not have been everyone’s first pick, it is giving students the chance to experience something close to normal.

     Students still have the opportunities to see their friends, interact with their teachers, and feel like a part of the Fenwick community. At the same time, on days students are home, they have the ability to work at their own pace, while still collaborating with their teachers and classmates. Hybrid learning allows every student to have the valuable in-person time that shapes their Fenwick experience because while lessons can be taught over Zoom, that is not the only part of what it means to be a Friar. There are moments you cannot plan or replicate, they have to be lived.

     Senior Evan Auriemma said that his freshman year was a very different experience. He says that there was not as much bonding within the classes until later on in his high school career.

     Auriemma said that, “Due to Shield, the freshmen for the past two years have gotten the opportunity to grow closer with their classmates unlike the upperclassmen. The freshmen class this year will have made the connections with both classmates and teachers so they can push through the hard times.”

     He continued to say that COVID has put many restrictions on the ideals of senior year, including canceling and postponing homecoming, football games and Kairos. People are a lot more excited to see each other the days they go in because their time together is so limited. He explains that although the Fenwick community spends more time apart than together, it has grown closer together due to shared experiences.

     Even going into freshman year, I had some expectations about life at Fenwick having performed in a number of Black Friars Guild Productions, and having taken part in multiple math competitions. I was disappointed that I would not be able to take advantage of my preparations, but I quickly settled into the “new normal.”

     The experiences of the Class of 2024 are unlike those of any previous freshman class. This pandemic has influenced how we interact with each other, both in and out of school, and it has set us on a journey we are bound to remember forever.