There has been a dramatic change for all of us during the past week, as we return to the never-ending routine of school. Some of us may despise just looking at those familiar school gates, whereas some may be happy to meet friends after the loneliness and boredom during the pandemic lockdown. Facing this years ‘back to school’ has been strange and unfamiliar, combined with the feeling of exhaustion and overwhelming routine after the laziness of lockdown.

The Good

Probably the most enjoyable moment in school is spending time and meeting friends (after having to cope with my annoying sisters). The same familiar faces with the happiness and laughs that I missed in lockdown after spending 6 months cooped up behind my phone’s screen. Breaks and lunch seem like the only time in school that pass by quickly after long lessons! Not only this, I know this seems weird, but I also finally have a schedule and routine every day, after feeling quite disorganised with my late-night sleep ins and feeling unproductive with nothing to do during lockdown. I can finally think ahead by creating a schedule where I can place enough time to study, do some of my hobbies and most importantly relax (the best bit 😄).

The Bad

For me, returning to school also means the tiring, cold mornings of forcing myself to wake up and leave the comfort and warmth of my bed. Next, the cramped bus journey to school, whilst looking on at the traffic and listening to the same songs through my earphones. Then the long, never-ending hours of teachers rampaging in lessons, at my half-asleep classmates, constantly looking at the clock until it finally reaches 3.00 so that I can quite literally run out of the school building. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone will see that school has changed from what they’re used seeing. For me, what I believe that what has changed the most is the classroom. The hand sanitiser and anti-viral spray at the entrance, the tape on the floor that seems to act like a forcefield between the teacher and the students. At the same time, getting used to my new schedule where the changes in timings can seems awkward and annoying… I know it can be difficult to remember to wear your masks when transferring between classes, and the long wait to finally get onto the bus (due to limit of people that can come on). But it seems we need to get used to this ‘new normal’, at least for a good while.

The Ugly

You’re not alone and everyone is struggling as well. Some of you may be, like me, in year 12, having to cope with the fact you that have not experienced taking any sort of exam, like your GCSE’s, and may be wondering how you can get to the next stage whether you are going to A-levels, college or apprenticeship. Some of you may not have gotten the grades that you wanted, so you have to do your GCSEs in November (don’t worry I know how you feel). I’m also annoyed that we couldn’t have year 11 prom or the typical leavers day to remember or say our last goodbyes, but instead we spent our time stressed and worried, while listening to Boris on TV. Some of you might be current year 11s and years 13s who might be stressed because you may have forgotten everything or have struggled a lot without school, having to cope with the fact that you have you’re A-levels or GCSE exams at the end of the year. Trust me you are not alone, I believe you can, with hard work and effort, do this by making most of your time in school, before it’s too late.

Emma, 16


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