2024, Jumping in Headfirst

The class of 2024 give their opinions on going into in-person schooling after a fully online freshman year.

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Freshman year is all about transitioning from middle to high school, finding your way around the school, and forming connections with peers. But for the class of 2024, remote learning proved a major roadblock to this experience. In fact, many incoming sophomores have yet to even set foot in the building. Missing out on the freshman experience has many sophomores excited for a fully in-person year––an unusually late first taste of high school.

One such sophomore who is looking forward to the upcoming year is Shyann Rampaul. “I’m mostly looking forward to actually learning. I feel like I grasped nothing from remote learning, and that really took a toll on me mentally,” she said in an e-mail interview.

But that isn't what all students are excited for. As sophomore Srejon Biswas explained in an e-mail interview, he’s most looking forward to getting out of his apartment and into the building. After being stuck inside for an entire year, he can’t wait to get outside. “I’m looking forward to just being outside of my apartment. People our age shouldn’t really spend most of their time at home,” Biswas said.

Incoming sophomores also appreciated a few things from remote learning that they would like to see incorporated into in-person schooling. “The amount of empathy and consideration teachers had for their students made online learning a lot easier,” Allison Palisoul said in an e-mail interview. She hopes that teachers maintain a similar level of empathy during the upcoming school year.

Other students wish for tests and quizzes to stay digital. Rampaul found Delta Math to be extremely helpful and appreciated taking her tests on a familiar platform.“I honestly think that Delta Math helped me so much, and having tests on familiar problems made me less anxious,” Rampaul explained.

However, many sophomores still have concerns about going fully in-person. Some students expect a heavier workload in-person than in remote learning. Palisoul is worried about the workload being too much. “I don’t want to burn out before I get to fully enjoy Stuy[vesant],” she said.

Another concern for some are lengthy commutes.“I have two fears: that I won’t be able to keep up with all the classes and that my one hour and 10 minute long commute will make it very difficult for me to find some time in the day to just rest and not worry about homework,” Biswas said.

Many students are also skeptical that schools will stay in-person for the entire year. “I doubt school will [stay in-person] because a) most students in NYC are not fully vaccinated, and b) new variants keep popping up,” Palisoul said.

Biswas agreed, noting his concerns of going back to in-person schooling with the Delta variant on the rise. “When the building is at full capacity in September, infection is kind of inevitable,” he said.

Though sophomores have their fair share of concerns for the school year, including a heavier workload and what seems to some like an inevitable school shutdown, most are excited to get the Stuyvesant experience. And though that experience may include sleepless nights, long commutes, and constant masks, the class of 2024 is glad to finally have a normal(ish) year in the building.