After an exciting first two days back on Aug. 19 and 20 with updated protocols improving students’ ability to socialize and enjoy school events, some students across grade levels reflected on their campus experience and outlook on the school year as a compilation for Campus Voices, our opinion section by students outside the staff.
Andrea Malpica ’24
During this past year, doubt and uncertainty have increased all over the world. Just when we thought this pandemic was coming to an end, the light at the end of the tunnel which we were so near to reach outran us, and now it’s beginning to look further away than it already was.
I just moved here from Mexico; the COVID cases are increasingly high there, especially with the rise of the new Delta variant. We never managed to go back to in-person classes. That’s why I’m excited about coming to Gulliver. Despite the mask regulations, which are really important to follow, we are able to see and interact with each other personally, not through a screen, and that is something we should all be grateful about. I hope the COVID situation gets better as time goes by, so we can see our entire faces and return to the normality we all miss and need. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy being together as a community and stay safe, so that we can enjoy the rest of the school year face-to-face, and not through a screen.
Kamar Meza ’22
I was not ecstatic about returning to school for my senior year. I had gotten so used to online learning and comfortable with it I didn’t really know how to feel about going back to normal school. The last time I had normally attended school on campus, I was a sophomore, and now I am a senior — time flies. I enjoyed seeing all my old friends again and catching up, but school wasn’t fully normal as we still had to wear masks in class.
Getting back into the flow of normal school was a learning curve. Finding all my classes and meeting all my teachers for the first day was so reminiscent of past years. Having to introduce myself in front of a class of people was pretty nerve-wracking, mostly because I haven’t been around this many new people in about a year. But I got through it, and kind of enjoyed seeing all the new faces and new friends I could possibly make. I ended this school day by playing in the first football game of the year, which was extremely fun. It seemed like basically the entire school was there, and it was really nice having them cheer on for us and support us while we played. Also with no restrictions, the crowd for this game was huge, people standing all around the field and the bleachers packed. We didn’t have any crowds for sports last year so it was really refreshing to hear the screaming fans again.
Felix Montesano ’24
I feel great about the changes made for the campus this year. The 3-foot separation is perfect because it allows for socialization while limiting the risks of getting COVID-19. The new rule that is being implemented regarding masks is also an improvement to last year’s because it allows students to wear their masks only when it is truly necessary. Furthermore, the removal of hybrid learning has made the campus this year feel more united and lively in contrast to last year’s nearly empty school.
Erick Delgado ’22
This year feels completely different than last year. One of the major differences that I have felt is the energy the students and faculty have brought. Last year felt a little sluggish because most of us were online. Now, there is so much excitement because most of us haven’t even had a full year on ground in almost 2-3 years! One thing that I feel is similar is the way we are learning since most teachers are still using technology to teach like Google Classroom, Nearpod, and other websites.
Natalia Aguilar ’25
I have very mixed opinions on going back to school this year. This summer I was really excited to go back to campus because I was vaccinated and felt very safe going back, but then the Delta variant came. That variant changed a lot of things and made me not so sure on whether or not I wanted to go back to school. Reading that the variant is more transmissible had me really scared because I wanted to me and my family to be safe. I’m really happy Gulliver chose to keep the mask mandate in place for indoors but disappointed in students for not wearing their masks correctly in class and for Gulliver removing social distancing markings. I truly hope students and teachers can follow all the rules so we don’t have a big outbreak on campus and have to go back online.
Valentina Fernandez ’25
Coming back to this campus was weird, but exciting. It felt like a new adventure and I was ready to go “back to normal,” even though nothing would be how it was before. I am new to this school, so I was faced with plenty of challenges. In my old school, there were 40 people in my grade, so you can already imagine the difference when I came to Gulliver. In a way, it was like a breath of fresh air seeing new people and getting to know this new environment. When COVID hit, I was excited to get a break from school and relax for what I thought would be two weeks. Little did I know, that a year and a half later, we would still be here with masks over our faces. It was hard learning material and it was even harder trying to focus when you are living with eight family members. It was chaos 24/7 and, to be completely honest, the most useful thing I learned in online school was learning how to work under noise and pressure. It was an experience and an adventure that I am praying the world doesn’t face again, but at least for now, we are back in school and ready to get back to work.
Sara Gelrud ’24
Much like others, my first day of school was chaotic. WiFi had not been cooperating (which is nothing new from last year,) lunch lines lasted longer than the period itself, and mask mandates were relaxed. Aside from the disorganization of the day, seeing old friends and meeting new teachers was just as exciting as it has always been. For some of us, many of our friends had been online for the entirety of last year and it was great to finally see them again after such a long period of time. Ending the day, students sat in the heat while attending the first assembly of the school year. As the day ended, I was glad to finally return home and begin on all the homework I had been assigned.
Valeria Bigott ’24
The past two years have definitely shown that nothing is to be taken for granted. It has shown, especially to high school students, just how easily something can be taken away from us, something as simple as seeing your friends’ faces in the halls, being able to enjoy a football game with friends, visiting a teacher’s classroom after school if you have a question, and appreciating the experience of in-person learning. In response to The Raider Voice’s editorial, I completely agree with the perspective and cautionary taken with the vaccines. Thinking about the bigger picture, and which collective groups of peoples you might be affecting, is extremely vital. The more students and faculty who vaccinate, the more normal a year we can all experience. Aim for an unforgettable freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year. It starts with you. It starts with all of us, and together, we can bring back the school we love and remember.