The new face of friendship

Hybrid schedule takes toll on teens’ social lives

The new face of friendship

Anasha Crowdus, Reporter

For most of us, we were all ready to dive back into the new school year. After staying home in quarantine for months on end during the COVID-19 pandemic, we could finally see all of our friends at school. But in reality, we only get to see half to none of our friends this school year with the new A-K, L-Z alternate learning days.

School for juniors Piper Prince and Shelby Brown it’s nothing like they hoped. These two best friends happened to get the same exact class schedule this year, but don’t see each other in class at all because of the alphabetic split.

“It’s not as horrible as I thought it would be, but there are some classes that I’m like, ‘I don’t know anyone in here’,” Prince said.

Prince says she was prepared for the worst coming back to school, but has come to the realization that it could be worse. She still isn’t used to seeing the low number of kids in each of her classes though.

“I would prefer everybody being at school just because there’s people I love seeing like Piper, but it’s just weird,” Brown said.

Brown shares some of Prince’s concerns when it comes to not being able to see her best friend and her peers.

“I’m with some of my friends [during traditional learning] but some are also in the other letter group and I can’t see them, and to me the worst part of school was wearing the masks and having assigned seats in the lunchroom,” freshman Brayden Collins Said  

Collins is new to NAHS as a freshman and he says this is a weird transition for most, especially freshmen.

“My time during quarantine was very boring and not getting to see my friends for a few months was kind of hard,” Collins said.

Some say dividing the student population in half is what might keep more students and teachers healthy. “Additionally, extended closures can be harmful to children’s mental health and can increase the likelihood that children engage in unhealthy behaviors,” according to the CDC.

”I personally don’t like waking up early and going to school throughout the week and school just wasn’t the same,” Marley Tate said.

Tate started the school year as a hybrid student, but changed to online after a couple of weeks going back and forth between online and virtual.

”I just wish I could have all of my friends back at school so I could have something to motivate me to get up for school,” Tate said.

Senior Jia Jia Hodgson has decided to do school all virtually. 

“[Classes] felt very empty and virtual school was just more convenient for me,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson says she enjoyed her quarantine days but didn’t really get to see her friends because she focused on herself and work.

“We have too many students for us to all be at school at once, but I do miss being together with everyone,” Hodgson said.

Out of 1,867 students enrolled at NAHS a little more than 1100 are traditional students.

“The atmosphere just wasn’t the same,” Hodgson said.

The district has plans to continue the hybrid schedule through fall break.