Welcome Back: Sophomore Views on the First Week of School

   This first week of the 2021 school year has been unlike any other in recent years. While masks are still required, social distancing is no longer mandatory, and when it is over 85 degrees outside, masks are optional. This can make students feel uncomfortable if they have preexisting conditions, making them more susceptible to the Delta variant, regardless of vaccination status.

   Meanwhile, Voorhees Township is 70% vaccinated, yet there have been 101 newly confirmed cases, and 54 probable cases. I have personally heard my teachers state that they have students with COVID already, though it is only the fourth day of the school year while I write this. This creates worry within me concerning my friends with preexisting conditions, as having people more susceptible to COVID near classmates who could possibly be sick is not preferable. This is especially true when students do not need to wear masks when the weather reaches over 85 degrees. 

   The reopening of high school is not without its benefits, as students enjoy reuniting with friends that they may not have seen since the very beginning of 2020. This school year has opened with promise and hope, as it will prove far superior to the last two. Students and teachers rejoice at the prospect of being back in the classroom rather than Zoom, despite the added amount of work the coming months may hold.

   Sophomores such as myself are using their lockers for the first time, though many have chosen to bring their backpacks from class to class rather than use them. A majority of students are ignoring the opportunity to use their lockers because the added benefits of these lockers aren’t being provided as they should be. One can only contemplate what this year will bring for students, and hopefully this year will result in a positive outcome.