Covid and the School Reckoning – by Ahmeda Turay

Covid-19 and its immense impact were abrupt. I was a senior in high school, doing community service at CASE when I first learned of the pandemic. When I first heard about the coronavirus spreading abroad, I continued with my studies, including working toward my IB degree, which included many papers, projects, and oral presentations. I had expected to complete the school year as usual. But that did not happen. Covid-s brisk arrival to the United States changed that I attended school and conducted community service at CASE.

At CASE, I learned about gel electrophoresis, worked with young students, and explored astronomy and telescopes. It was not only a service to give back to my community, but it also blossomed my appreciation and love for STEM.

March 13, 2021, was the conclusion to what I considered a regular school year. We were
on a spring break but stayed out of the school building through graduation. We moved to online schooling, using tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It seemed like online school wouldn’t be that drastic of a shift from regular schooling, and it seemed to have perks. I no longer needed to wake up early and there was also no need to worry about getting out of pajamas. However, after having in-person classes since the age of four, learning completely online was difficult, especially the shift from having the teacher right there, to only interacting from the computer screen and raising my virtual hand. The curriculum seemed to be going much faster, too.

Not having my classmates there impacted my social skills as I was in the house by myself while my parents
were at work. There was a lot of learning and confusion on my end. I had to put more effort into
studying because classes were going so fast. The transition was overwhelming and there was not much anyone could do to help because it was a first for everyone. To be successful, I had to use various online resources to help me retain the information taught to me. Over time, these resources proved to be a big help for all of my classes.

The unexpected pandemic was difficult to adjust to at first, but with time, I was able to gain better study habits, a deeper understanding of myself, and more clarity and excitement about my future as a college student.

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