Students heading back to campus


Coming back to school after quarantine was a unique experience for everyone. Walking down the halls of Round Rock High School gave nostalgia a new meaning. Taking attendance felt like deja vu . Eating lunch in a full cafeteria was a fever dream. As the haze of the first day of school came to a close, senior L Porter, was awestruck by the difference of this year compared to last.

“School feels more complete, compared to last year,” Porter said. “School’s finally engaging and I can talk to my friends.”

During quarantine Porter was mostly a virtual student, except for attending in-person theatre class. One of the biggest differences for him was socializing. After spending most days staring at a computer, listening to a teacher, it affected his social tolerance. As a theatre student, being social is one of the biggest advantages someone can have in that community. Being so used to socializing every day, then stopping for a year, then all of sudden spending eight hours surrounded by people was quite a shock.

“It was draining coming back after a year,” Porter said. “I met more people and have gotten close with people again, but it was more challenging than it used to be”

High school is stressful, especially when grades make or break a student’s future choices. For Porter virtual school was easier because teachers expected less of you. Due to the new experience that was online school, teachers were more lenient with how much work they assigned, the difficulty, and when the assignments were due. However, focusing was a huge problem. Staring at a screen doesn’t make someone feel motivated like being in school can. 

“Being in the classroom setting is definitely superior,” Porter said . “The environment is better to get work done and be productive.”

New challenges arose with the transition of online to an in person school year. For many students, including senior Aidan Vickers, the biggest challenge was focusing. Virtual years enabled the option to sleep or not pay attention in class. Like a Pandora’s box, turning the camera and microphone off was just a click away. Then any student would be able to sleep or go on their phone with no consequence and without the teacher knowing. However, there are consequences with the transition back to school. 

“Staying awake and attentive the whole day is a struggle for me,”  Vickers said. “I’m used to sleeping during asynchronous times, but now whether I would like to or not sleeping’s not an option.”

Transitioning from quarantine to in-person school overburdened many students. Each student had to relearn many things. Going back to school was especially exciting this year, but also very nerve wracking. Slowly everything is going back to normal and slowly everyone is getting back into the rhythm of things.

“Coming back to school has definitely had a positive effect on my life,” Vickers said. “ I developed very bad habits, but being on a regimented schedule that’s a learning environment has helped me keep my priorities straight and keep a good mental health.”