BY ERIN HELLHAKE
An unconventional first day of school commenced on Sep. 9. The COVID-19 pandemic altered how students learn, with teachers and students now becoming eager to return to normalcy. Masks, pandemic protocols, and block scheduling all affect students’ readjustment to a school regimen at Old Bridge.
In an adverse time, a sense of camaraderie and peer support is more important than ever. “As a community, Old Bridge came together by following COVID rules and regulations, masking up, and even getting the vaccine,” said senior Salvatore Acquaviva.
In-person learning is crucial to the success of certain students. “Remote learning was a very difficult adjustment for me, as I’m sure it was for others,” said junior Angelo Vitale. “It was odd to not be in a classroom. I found it very challenging to keep my focus while trying to learn from a screen, which makes it very relieving to be back.” Some students struggled with remote learning, and coming back to the building helped to alleviate this problem.
Sophomores this year had to start their high school experience from a computer screen; some skipped the Grade Nine Center entirely. Numerous juniors had never attended all classes in the main building before this year. “It was very confusing at first, considering it was my first time in the building, but by a week later I knew where I was going,” said Vitale.
Students and teachers alike seem enlivened by the in-person return to school. “I’m most looking forward to the discussions, conversations, and activities occurring — with the element of human interaction rather than online communication,” said Mrs. Farino, English teacher. “The silver lining is the value of in-person learning.”
With the return of full-time in-person classes, there is a lot to look forward to. A majority of the dances, spirit days, clubs, and senior events will resume this year. “I’m looking forward to all the senior activities, especially homecoming,” said Acquaviva.
Quarantine allowed students to experience a newfound excitement and passion for returning to school.“I hope to make new friends and do well in school,” said Julia D’Andrea, sophomore. “It’s really exciting to be back with peers.”
The new school year requires an adjustment period, but a sense of community will help students find their way.
Posted on 10/29/21
Pictures by Lors Photography