The Anniversary of a New Reality

Antioch Community High School’s learning environment has experienced many changes since March 13, 2020, but students hope to see a better future for themselves.

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Fiona Serifov

As COVID-19 hit March 13, 2020, students were forced to create a new reality, as ACHS approached a year of this new lifestyle on March 13, 2021.

A year ago, an irreversible crisis inflicted the world and forced many buildings to shut down, including schools. Community High School District 117, among other districts in Lake County, decided to close a week before spring break. Some students were ecstatic about this decision but did not know what was to come– a three-week break turned into months of isolation. 

 

Through the difficult time, students were unable to gain new experiences and were obligated to persevere. Events like prom and graduation became canceled for the seniors, and the freshman did not experience a first full year of high school. 

 

“I cannot wait to just get back at it and no longer take these little things for granted,” sophomore Kinsey Delgado said. 

 

This school year, the staff has tried to find multiple solutions to put their students back in a proper school setting. Instead of students remaining virtual, there was a new option: hybrid learning. Each student was assigned to a group and went through a three-week rotation. 

 

“I prefer hybrid as it helps me focus better in my classes because I am able to interact and ask questions easier,” junior Ravyn Edran said. “It is also safe because people are following safety procedures.” 

 

Recently, rumors had swirled around everyone’s ears about splitting the three groups into two halves after spring break. This statement is no longer a rumor; it is the truth. Slowly but surely, things are starting to return to normal; the word is finally regaining its meaning. 

 

The pandemic has affected an unknown number of lives in ways thought to be impossible. During these months, other disasters struck, ranging from wildfires to an uproar of protests. Teenagers were astounded by these sights, and none of this was labeled normal. 

 

Sophomore Timothy Ruffner hopes that things will return to the way they once were. Along with others, Ruffner was affected mentally but remained optimistic and encourages other students to do the same. 

 

“Make the most of each day and try to stay positive because the world doesn’t need any more negativity than it already has right now,” Ruffner said.  

 

A couple of weeks after spring break, starting April 19, students will fully return to the learning environment. Even though this school year did not go as planned, students can look forward to next year also returning to normal. Principal Eric Hamilton confirmed through an email sent to students and parents that, starting in the fall, students at ACHS will continue in-person learning, a definite improvement from the past.