Back to Campus: A Blessing or Curse?

Online learners welcomed to campus for module 3.
Boarders warm up near a fire.

The strongly anticipated return to in-school learning occurred on the 5th of January. COVID tests were administered in the preliminary days, and by the time the first day rolled around, everyone was locked and loaded for an outstanding kickoff to the second semester. When asked about the return to in-school learning, one student said, “It’s pretty epic” perfectly summarizing the energetic feeling in the air. While the first day back was only a half-day, the enthusiasm of returning to campus seemed to be a long-awaited affair. 

There was an abundance of excitement also attributed to being joined by some of our semester one distance learners. Faces that hadn’t been seen since spring of 2020 could be seen smiling under their masks as they took their first strut down Brick Row for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Though this return to in-school learning was rather fun after weeks of winter break, and even more weeks of distance learning, some students reminisce over the distance learning experience. One such individual recalled, “It gives you a more flexible schedule… I didn’t have a check-in time. I could live my life with freedom” when asked if there was anything they missed about online learning. In contrast, another student from California recalled his struggles while online, “I had to wake up super early.” For those unaware, anyone living in California is in the Pacific Standard Time Zone which is three hours behind Hudson. While this time difference may seem difficult to manage, some students went home to countries that had up to a 13 hour time difference. This gave the remarkable first day back an even more unifying feeling.

Though there is a near-unanimous positive response from the WRA community, we live within the ecosystem of Hudson and it was interesting to hear some locals’ opinions. When some Hudson High School students were asked their thoughts on WRA’s return they said, “I don’t really agree with it… we’re not in a place where that is a really good option yet.” Hudsonites seemed disappointed in the return until asked one question, “Did you know that Western Reserve did mandatory COVID tests for every student.” Responses to this question consisted of, “Oh, then that’s ok” With the recent lifting of sanctions on athletics, garnering an even more positive response, the community seems to be better and more unified than ever before.

Christopher Yankay ’22

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