Back to School, One last time


Andrew Shinkle

The sun illuminates the sidewalk and the road leading the entrance of the school.

   Feeling my legs burn as they speed walk across the halls was definitely how I imagined returning to Eastern after a year of learning on silent screens. The feeling of excitement to finish my last year, before I say goodbye powering every step. Making eye contact with friends, teachers and classmates is almost surreal, but laughing and learning with them again feels as refreshing as chewing the orange slices I pack for lunch. 

   Now I go to bed worn out, reluctantly compelling myself to prepare my lunch, pick my outfit for the next day and tidy up my room, before I finally collapse on the bed and rest my mind and body for the night. 

   The new lunch schedule was a bit of an adjustment. Sometimes I feel like I have to double or triple check my schedule just to find out I’ll be eating alone, which is disappointing. However, the sense of normalcy is relieving: the only object keeping me from connecting with my teachers and classmates is my voice, not a mask and certainly not an iPad. 

   The future is unpredictable and there is a chance that the school may shut down again because of COVID-19. But the beginning of the year shows great promise to educate young minds wholeheartedly; and allow teachers and students to enjoy the process. 

   I’m excited for the challenges that await and ready to improve along with them. Not to mention, I’m looking forward to enjoying all of the senior amenities, including prom and the Disney trip. 

   If last year is any indication, it’s the little moments between students, teachers and classmates that make the majority of the school experience, not the assignments.

  These brief moments of happiness, laughter, and success are memorable and allow us to connect with ourselves and each other to create a fruitful learning experience.