Transitioning into a New School During A Pandemic

Featured Image: Sketched by Grace Gazette Media Editor Evelyn Ward ’21

2020, the year of the unexpected and interrupted. This week, we sent out a poll surveying freshman on their transition into Grace during a pandemic. With cohorts splitting grades in half, there has been an inherent divide for formative social interactions. Some students have chosen to remain fully online, though most, especially freshmen, have chosen to participate in the hybrid model that Grace has put together. While spending time in the building may be easier for some of the older students who already know one another, there’s no denying that there is a significant lack of social interaction amongst the freshmen. 

After Director of Athletics Ms. Armijos and Associate Director of Athletics, Mr. Quinn announced that fall sports at Grace would be postponed, many freshmen were dismayed to learn that they would lose the opportunity to join a team which often creates invaluable bonds.“I feel sad that I’m unable to play.” said Luis Hernandez ‘24, who clearly was stripped of the opportunity to meet new people and adjust to his new life as a Grace student. Ashley Almonte ‘24 said, “I wanted to try out soccer for the first time, but now, I’m not able to do so.” Not having a fall sports season has been just one of many things that the freshman have been stripped of in their first year at 46 Cooper Square. 

At Grace, our staff is trying their best to keep each person safe while keeping classes entertaining and engaging for students regardless of the model they chose. Though it has been difficult at times, the freshmen are starting to get comfortable with the current state of their social lives while making sure to stay focused on their academics. The more time that goes by, the easier it’ll get, and once these same students graduate in four years, they’ll look back on their freshman experience as something that made them stronger. 

Even with all of this, the freshmen transition into Grace has been smoother than anticipated. It is understood that in zoom-school you may feel isolated, but GCS has been offering many clubs and activities you can join online to help form connections. Whether it be something for occupational purposes or an affinity space to connect with others, there are countless opportunities to open up and get to know your peers outside of your grade or cohort. These groups can help you feel part of something in the community even if it’s from the comfort of your own home. 

To all the freshmen: We hear you and understand how hard transitioning to a new school may be, especially with the loss of valuable bonding experiences such as the freshman retreat or fall sports. Know that we must rely on each other to get through these terribly difficult times and understand that our health, along with the health of others, is our nation’s top priority. Realize that it’s only been a few weeks and you’ll have plenty of time to settle in.

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