REFLECTIONS: ONLINE ASSIGNMENTS DURING THE ‘STAY-AT-HOME’

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Sydney Peet, Staff Reporter

Senior year. The time to make memories, and the last chance to make mistakes, before reality sets in. Students work hard for 12 years, pushed forward by persistence, and perhaps the hope that senior year would be fun and games (with a little stress and lots of homework mixed in for good measure). Well, for this year’s seniors that is not exactly the case.

The first half of the school year for many students like myself was spent soaking in the Friday Night Lights at football games sure, but largely with the nose to the grindstone – completing college applications, trying to boost GPA before transcripts were sent out, and making last minute improvements to standardized test scores. Now the “fun” part was scheduled to begin a month ago, and students scattered throughout the country are sheltered in their homes, wondering when they will be able to see their friends again and enjoy their senior year. 

To combat this lack of normal school, most if not all schools have switched to online instruction, ranging from Zoom meetings, to book work, to Google Classroom. Assignments have been waiting in the inbox for weeks, yet students seem very hesitant to pick up their laptop, tablet, or phone to do school work. This may be because instructions and assignments outside of physical school are difficult to complete, anxiety-inducing, or just don’t seem real. I myself have experienced all three feelings in the past month since I’ve been in school. It is hard for me to grasp concepts from textbooks and worksheets alone. The sheer number of assignments piling up is enough to stress out even the most level-headed students. These assignments, and quite frankly everything outside of the confines of my house, do not feel real. I feel like not completing assignments will never have any actual effect on me, and therefore I don’t feel compelled to log-on to my Google Classroom or Gradebook. I know many feel the same. 

Friends have texted me, declaring “If the work isn’t being graded, it isn’t going to get done.” It seems like there are no repercussions for incomplete work now, but soon the papers may begin to get graded, and these “meaningless” assignments will need to get done. I understand the teens posting on TikTok and Instagram as well; I also feel like school isn’t the largest concern in the middle of the pandemic, but what some fail to realize is that life will resume after this. Schools will open back up, businesses will open, and life will be good once again. 

Therefore, it is vital to these students’, especially underclassmen, futures to continue working.

It has been difficult to push through assignments with the knowledge that I should’ve been spending nights driving with my friends, going to spring sporting events, and taking our final school trips, but the one thing that keeps me going is the hope that by doing my part – staying home and completing my school work – I may soon be out celebrating with my friends. It may take days, weeks, or months, but I’m holding on to the image of my classmates giving speeches, walking across the stage, and beaming in pictures together, knowing that we finally did it.