Keep learning in-person

February 17, 2022

 It’s 9 a.m. and your alarm goes off. You open up the laptop that you left next to your bed from the night before. Then, you log on to your English Zoom. This is your first of the five sequential Zoom calls you will have for the day. The same calls you had yesterday, the day before that, you will have tomorrow, and for as long as you know this is going to be your life. 

“I can’t wait for the weekend,” you think to yourself. Yet, when the weekend comes, it’s the same bed and room you’ve been sitting in all week. The hours take forever to pass and the days are blending together. But we’re out. We made it out, we’re back at school, we’re back to work, we can see our friends and family, the days have differences, we’re free. 

Two years ago, our world as we knew it shut down. Ever since then, we have watched COVID-19 cases rise up and down helplessly. Instead, we should try to focus on what we can control: whether or not our school is open. If students continue to practice safe habits like social distancing and washing their hands, they can continue to stop the spread of COVID-19, while being able to enjoy their lives semi-regularly. Staying in our homes for months at a time can make an impact, but at what cost. There’s no point in living through last year’s drudgery again just to have SAT scores go down by 38 points as they did from 2020 to 2021, according to the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark.

On top of decreasing test scores, it’s bad for students’ development not to go to school in-person, because they aren’t able to meet other students and learn how to interact with each other. It also stifles people’s ability to grow up in an efficient way that creates functioning members of society. The interactions we have as our brains mature are very important to our development, because we are able to learn essential skills such as how to properly develop relationships. 

In high school, you learn a lot about who you are and how to become a self-serving adult. The interactions that build those skills in people just won’t happen behind a computer screen. Students will forget how to interact with each other in real life if we go back to online school. They’ll become lifeless in-person because they’re too nervous to speak to people. Last year, when people went back to school, no one knew how to talk to each other and we all had to relearn how to interact in a public environment. 

In-person students can build relationships that would never happen online and they’ll be able to live through the love and loss that is an essential part of life. Thus, in-person learning teaches students important lessons to carry with them for the rest of their lives. The true human experience can not be replicated online and it never will be. We need to have in-person school to salvage what we still have of that experience. Rome was falling for 400 years and we don’t know when our civilization can start the same decline. This could be the end of Western civilization as we know it: we have to salvage it by keeping our school open. 

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