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Life as a Pandemic Student


By — Mia Cramaro

Photo curtesy — Green Chameleon on

Covid-19 struck when no one seemed to be watching. Earlier this year schools were closed in March in Loudoun County due to the rise in cases of Covid-19. At this point six months in, it may seem hard to remember a time when things were “normal.” Students across the country are now taking up a new challenge of starting school online. The pandemic has seemed to last longer than anyone would have expected but nevertheless students are still trying their best to learn and teachers are coming up with new ways to teach. 

Ella Nassauer, Senior Class Officer, shared what she is planning on doing during this time and how it has affected her so far. Like many students and teachers the thought of Covid-19 staying past summer was a brisk thought. However most people couldn’t have been more wrong. “I think the pandemic has impacted us all mentally more than we thought it has. It’s a little hard to be thinking ahead when it’s hard to see an end to the whole thing. I feel like everyone had a set time in their head when they assumed everything would return to normal but it just kept getting pushed until everyone kind of gave up on the idea. For me it’s really easy to get stuck inside doing school work or sitting around, so I try to remind myself to get out of the house and go for a walk or even just sit in the sun for a little. It always helps my mentality. So does working out! I also make sure to do activities outside of my house that are safe and keep in touch with my friends,” said Nassauer. 

Everyone working from home knows how hard it is to find a designated space to work in, especially one that they can focus in. Nassauer said, “I find that I can feel smothered when I stay downstairs for too long and stare at the same screen for hours. When school ends, I usually relax for some time or do errands before I start homework.” A good tip to staying focused while at home is to find a space near a window where light can come in and where one can look outside to deter away from the feeling of being smothered. 

“The easiest part of my day now are mornings. I used to worry so much about how long it was going to take me to get to school and how much traffic there was. The hardest part of my days are the synchronous work times. It can be really hard to stay focused on a lecture over a screen.” Most students are finding themselves having difficulty when focusing on a lecture/class time. One of the best things to do is to keep away from distractions, keep detailed notes, be in a space where there are few noises, and ask lots of questions to keep a student engaged. 

With students’ work being online, there has been caution about putting cameras on and engaging with the teachers. However odd that may seem, it’s very important to understand the perspective of a teacher talking to a bunch of students, with not being able to see the students and not being able to engage with them. “I think that student participation is key in online learning. I understand that it can be nerve wracking to speak up in class sometimes, but I know that teachers really appreciate it. If there is not student participation, it is very hard for teachers to know if they are doing an effective job teaching. Students should also speak up about technology issues. If their teacher is accidentally muted, let them know! As students, we can make our lives easier by staying organized. I have found that my teachers are using many different platforms and it can be really frustrating to find where things are and when they are due. What has helped me is to write down where things are located when teachers mention an assignment.” Nassauer really digs deep in the fact that teachers working with students are people too. Even though it may seem weird to put your camera on as a student it is greatly appreciated! With being online, participation and engagement with the topic and class is what really drives the class forward and helps students and teachers understand the material better. 

“As a class officer, I’m sure I will constantly be answering the question of how to bring back school spirit during the pandemic. I know from experience that there is a lot of school spirit when there is a competition to be won! Perhaps we could think of different ways that the classes could compete like submitting a picture of a baked good to be judged, a picture for the coolest art project made over quarantine, longest hike completed over quarantine, etc. It will be an ongoing question to be answered!” School spirit can be low right now, but nevertheless students and teachers must make this the best circumstances of right now. If students and teachers work together during these times than it will all go much smoother and engagement and school spirit can start to rise. 

Lastly Nassauer was asked if she had any advice to her peers during this time. “The one thing I would say to someone who is dealing with online school is take advantage of the situation. Focus on your agenda for yourself and use all the extra time to become the best version of yourself. Whether that is working out or working to get into that dream college, now is the perfect time to do that!” Nassauer reminds students that the best time to meet a goal is now. With everything that’s happened, this year will not make an easy one but it will make a memorable experience. We are living through history and even though these are tough circumstances, these experiences make tougher people. 

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