Welcome back… seventh graders?

Grades react to transition back to in-person classes

At Jones, students have noticed differences in how each class has reacted to the switch from online to in-person school. 

Some students at Jones agree that online school was a difficult experience.

“It was a rough adjustment from in-person to an all-remote environment,” said Meghan Herrington ‘24. “I never did hybrid, because I have an autoimmune condition that puts me more at risk, so I also felt left out from time to time.”

Other students agree with Herrington, emphasizing the changes that online school made to their motivation and study habits. 

“I really didn’t like online learning. It felt monotonous to get up and go on Google Meet every day,” said Ava Tallarida ‘23. “Academically, I think I became a little lazier. I wasn’t as invested in my classes.”  

Additional students agree that the energy of online learning was much lower. 

“It was a bit demoralizing to just look at a computer screen all day,” said Lucian Sheldon-Wesley ‘22. “I didn’t really realize how bad it was until I went into in-person classes and I was like ‘Ooh, this is a lot better.’” 

However, underclassmen who have never experienced being in person have more positive opinions about online learning. 

“I appreciated the time I spent at home. Sometimes it would be hard to get motivated, but other times I would just be happy that I was at home rather than in person,” Herrington said.

There were more obvious differences between classes once in person learning started this year. 

“It was weird being a sophomore and not having ever been in the building before. I felt like I was going at a slower pace than everyone else,” said Herrington. “The other sophomores and I who had not been in the building for hybrid learning had a really similar adjustment process to freshmen.” 

Freshman Jada Bienemann agrees with Herrington.

“This year is like two freshman classes in a way,” said Bienemann. 

Freshmen this year have not experienced a full year of school since sixth grade.

“It is embarrassing to say but I act the same [as I did in sixth grade],” said Bienemann. “In the past years, freshmen were in their own category but now, it is underclassmen as a whole.”

Upperclassmen also observed this phenomenon. 

“For some of the underclassmen, it is kind of obvious that they’re new to the school, but I don’t blame them because they haven’t experienced it fully in person since middle school,” said Tallarida. “Overall, I think the majority are mature and not causing any issues. It’s pretty unusual to have two grades who haven’t been at school for so long.”

Many upperclassmen find humor in the younger classes’ antics. 

“Sometimes I will see freshmen running from class to class which is really funny. But I don’t see much difference in this and then in how underclassmen usually act,” said Sheldon-Wesley. “You have to experience cringy underclassmen moments before you can look back as a senior.” 

Students also commented on the similarity of experiences between upperclassmen.

“It seems like the juniors and seniors both have it pretty easy because they had experience at Jones as freshmen,” said Herrington. But it is probably weird for them to have missed so much of their high school experience.”