John Strock ’21

As life slowly adjusts back to normal in the midst of COVID-19, one of the great concerns is whether it is safe or not to go back to in-person learning.

Though online learning was a new concept for students and faculty alike, Strake Jesuit has adapted well and swiftly, so much so that some have grown to like and even prefer online learning. As students prepare to possibly go back to campus for the first time in over half a year, many wonder if it will last or if we will have to fall back to “Zoom.”

With in-person school set to start back up on September 14th, students were gearing up with notebooks, khakis, and backpacks for the first time in a while. Using a hybrid schedule where students got to class twice a week, administrators hoped that this will maximize learning while still keeping students and their families out of harm’s way.

Despite the ever-present fear of COVID, students were excited by the idea of being somewhere other than their house, as well as seeing their peers and friends in a somewhat normal environment.

“I can’t wait to get back to school,” Hayden Mixon ’23 said. “All I want is to go back to normal life and see everybody.”

Many believe that some subjects are simply easier to comprehend when in person, as believed by junior Kale Watts, “Math comes to me much easier when I’m sitting in a classroom,” Kyle Watts ’22 said. “Being online simply isn’t the same.”

While most students are elated to return to the classroom, there are those who have become so used to online learning that they would not mind sticking to it for a little while longer.

“I believe that I have learned the same amount with virtual learning as I would have in the classroom,” Ben Andrews ’21 said. “Besides, I don’t mind getting the extra hour of sleep each day.”

Whether they want in person or online learning, students have come to see “zoom” as the norm, and that it would be odd to return to in person learning, something that, despite it only being six months ago, seems to be much, much longer.

But an obvious reason for continuing online learning is the threat COVID poses not only to students, but also to their family and loved ones.

“I can’t wait to go back, but still, the thought of putting family at risk scares me,” Andrew Grimm ’23 said.

Nobody knows if the hybrid learning model will last or if it will be deemed too risky for students and their families.