How effective is it to make new friends in hybrid school?


Ava Kavanagh, A&E Editor

In-person school is back in session and it has been a major adjustment period for all of us–teachers and students alike. The decision to go back to school was made on the basis that students would make connections and form a community at Santiago. This is a decision beneficial for students struggling in school (due to technology or other barriers accentuated in online school), underclassmen, and students struggling with mental health. But, how effective is the hybrid school at creating an atmosphere to better the wellbeing of students?

Quinn Kavanagh (9), a freshman at Santiago High School, was interviewed on how he feels about hybrid school.

How was the adjustment from online to hybrid school?

It was very sudden and slightly inconvenient how quickly the students were expected to go to school. I expected everyone would want to socialize, but it took a little while to get back into the swing of things. When we first got back it was just awkward in general.

Have you made any friends within the first two weeks?

Yeah, freshman friends. I only made friends with people in my own age group because upperclassmen are leaving this year and it would be pointless. I don’t understand the way memes work like I just don’t enjoy it. It’s like “Sheesh” or “I like your cut, G.” I don’t like it. And my peers are being judged by me. But yeah, I’ve actually made a fair amount of friends since we got back.

Do you feel like you know the school better now that you started going?

I guess a little bit. Not as much as I imagined/hope I would. The campus is kind of weird and perturbing. I was not prepared for it. What is the deal with the D and F building? They look the same and are right next to each other. I’ve mixed them up every single time and I’ve been there 10 times.

Do you think the clear shields on desks/face masks have made it more difficult to socialize?

Yeah, I find the masks aren’t inconvenient. The bigger issue is the dividers; all of the desks are pretty far away from each other and it’s hard to hear through the dividers. I also can’t show other people my laptop because the dividers have these black parts blocking the view of other people’s desks. I can’t really talk to people or show my fellow peers what I’m doing during class. It makes it difficult to talk to people.

What part of your day do you socialize the most?

Passing periods mostly, I see a lot of people I know when I’m walking to class. Because we have less time in class, the time we have is dedicated to learning about that specific subject. We don’t have group projects and downtime like we used to. The passing period is the most convenient time for me to socialize.

Would you say hybrid school meets the goal of improving a student’s wellbeing?

I think that hybrid school does improve students’ mental wellbeing, while also jeopardizing a student’s physical wellbeing. It puts students at a higher risk for Covid-19. And it’s going to rebound because of that. The socialization we have been getting is well-deserved. It’s been a desolate year. People are tired of only being around their families and it’s been a good change of pace.

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