Seventh-graders adapting to a new year

Ella Dorfman, Staff Writer

Prior to the start of this school year, seventh grader Evelyn H. had not set foot on a school campus since fifth grade.

Last school year, students juggled between e-learning and in-person classes. But this year, e-learning is not available. For incoming seventh graders, a new school year with partial COVID-19 precautions is a major transition from elementary school.

“It was 2019-2020 that I was actually in school,” Evelyn said. “I think [this year] is going well. It is a little chaotic though with all the people.” 

For seventh grader Paxton B, this year does not differ much from previous years, despite COVID-19.

“Honestly, [West Shore] is not much different from my old school, Quest. It is not that bad,” Paxton said. “I think the weirdest part is not having lockers. I have to haul around so much.”

Besides adjustments relating to the pandemic, seventh graders are still tasked with making new friends and adjusting to new classes. 

“I have no problems finding a table,” Evelyn said. “I do not know anyone who has trouble with making friends either. All of my friends have had a similar experience to me.”

Evelyn said she had fun for the first week of school with friends that she plays basketball with. While she had a smooth transition, Evelyn said COVID-19 anxiety might make adaptations for other students in her grade more difficult. 

“Sometimes I have been able to find a table at lunch, but [just now] I was looking around for a friend to sit with,” Paxton said after wandering around the pavilion tables.

Paxton said he felt neutral about the effects COVID-19 had on this year so far. 

“I did not have a fun year [last year], along with a not-so-fun teacher,” Paxton said. “Multiple days I cried because I did not like [sixth grade]. But I have actually enjoyed being [at West Shore]. My favorite classes are math and reading with Mrs. Landmesser and Ms. Rehm.”