One year ago, on Friday, March 13, 2020, COVID-19 flipped BHS on its head. All of a sudden, school was online, the state was in lockdown, and confusion seemed to be the only universal sentiment. Students were told that normal life would resume on April 6, but almost a year passed before all students were invited to return to the school. Now that many students have begun returning to the classroom in person, it’s time to check in on the effects of separation on their mental health.
William Besonen was a freshman at BHS last year when classes went online and found himself wishing that school would return to in-person learning. Besonen would have been an exchange student in Finland this year, but his exchange was canceled due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When I’m at school I can focus on the class that I’m in and ask teachers questions,” Besonen said, “but at home when I could see my whole day’s worth of assignments it was easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus. I was missing social interactions that I normally would get at school.”
Besonen says that he really began noticing the effects of quarantine during the beginning of this school year, noting that it was easy to fall behind and lose motivation when he was learning
“This year really taught me the importance of face-to-face conversation and how much body language and facial expressions contribute to human connection,” Besonen said.
Besonen is one of many students that welcomes the shift back to in-person learning. However, many students have found that they enjoy certain elements of the distance learning model as well as in-person school.