The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

Remembering student social life in 2021, 2022

Navigating connections in the pandemic: reflections and resilience of students
This exhibit in East’s Senior Memory Museum by Juan Campos summarized the challenges of social life during the pandemic.

During the pandemic, sophomores experienced significant impacts on their mental health.

Returning to school brought a mix of emotions, with anxiety about safety and excitement to reconnect with peers. Social distancing measures became the norm in schools, leading to decreased participation in social events and extracurricular activities. Despite these challenges, students displayed remarkable resilience and determination. Adaptation necessitated flexibility, as they navigated the uncertainties of the situation. The pandemic underscored the crucial importance of both physical and mental health, prompting students to prioritize their well-being. Despite the obstacles, students demonstrated resilience by actively seeking ways to stay engaged and connected with their community.

Amidst the complexities of returning to school, students reflected on their emotional responses to the transition.

“The emotions that I experienced coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic were a lot of anxiety because I was starting at a new school, which was already much bigger than the last two I attended. I was nervous to see how other people would react to coming back as well, if people would follow the protocol or just do as they pleased. I was not excited; I was a little more on the feeling happy side because I felt like I would finally get to learn instead of just looking at a screen all day. I think coming back was a bittersweet moment,” senior Yaylyn Delgado said.

Reflecting on their personal experiences, students expressed a mix of excitement and anxiety upon returning to school.

“When coming back to school from the pandemic, the emotions I felt were excitement, but I felt very anxious at the same time. I was excited to be able to leave the house again after a long time. But at the same time, I was nervous and very anxious about whether I would be able to bond with my peers at school. I had lost all forms of social interaction. I was very socially awkward at the start, but I also felt great excitement to be able to see new faces and familiar ones again,” senior Derick Garcia said.

Beyond emotional responses, students observed shifts in hygiene practices, highlighting increased awareness.

“When coming back to school from the pandemic, I think it did increase personal hygiene awareness. Many people became somewhat paranoid about the number of germs going around and started bringing wipes and disinfectant everywhere they went. You couldn’t leave the house without hand sanitizer. My family also became more careful about hygiene, disinfecting everything when we came back from the streets and washing our clothes right away. So yes, I do think it had an increase in awareness of personal hygiene,” senior Lucy Romero said.

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  • R

    ReporterMay 17, 2024 at 9:19 am

    I enjoyed writing this story because it allowed me to delve deeper into the other students’ experiences during a difficult time. Exploring their emotional responses and resilience provided deep insight into how the pandemic shaped their lives and perspectives. By sharing their voices and stories, my goal was to highlight the strength and adaptability of these students, making their journey relatable and impactful for readers.