The New Norm

Our first only-digital edition of the Tom Tom encapsulates our new perspectives on the idea of “normal.”

Room 263 down the English hallway of Antioch Community High School is notorious for loud music, flashing cameras and bustling students. The birthplace of Sequoit Media holds a special place in every past, present and future staffer’s heart. They countdown the days until they become seniors and can truly claim the Media Lab as their home. 


COVID-19 deprived seniors of most of their “last” activities, freshmen were deprived of their high school “firsts,” the ACHS community was deprived of the 2020 school year and new and returning staff of the unique Tom Tom experience.


We try to point fingers at who’s to blame, but our fingers don’t know where to land. Sometimes, it feels like life keeps drawing the short end of the stick. It can be challenging to look back at everything that’s led up to the present and say, “This is just how things are. This is our new normal.”


Masks are required everywhere in IL. Has wearing masks become political? Does everything have an underlying political agenda? This election feels like it has been seeping into all the little corners and cracks of our lives. Social media is beginning to invade our day to day life; it feels like it is the only way to keep in touch. Be careful, though, post the wrong thing and all your followers could “cancel” you. Google Meet is the latest modernized classroom, but is the classroom an appropriate place to be having conversations about these controversial topics? 


In our first edition of the Tom Tom for the 2020-2021 school year, we address the aspects that create our “new normal.” Staffer Gabrielle Debevec contemplated how society has redefined the idea of “safety” in terms of spreading COVID-19. Lifestyles Online Editor Beatriz Warnes described how conversations may not begin on the topic of politics, but always seem to end up there. Lifestyles Editor Kourtni Weldon explains how social justice movements found a platform on social media, while Social Media Manager Lena De Vore discussed how one mistake and a harsh audience can be fatal to influencers’ careers. Lifestyles Editor Lila Heilig takes it back to the classroom, where she weighs the pros and cons of discussing controversial topics in school. Staffer Alexis Barbosa wraps up with “What it Feels Like to Live the Same Day Over and Over Again,” in which she describes the repetitiveness of remote learning that many students are experiencing.


From everyone at the Tom Tom, thanks for reading and thanks for adjusting to our new format. As always, we hope you enjoy.