Online School Just Isn’t the Same


Mr. Jenkins and Zack Ehrler smile for a picture over a Google Meet for the “Thank You Tuesday” sponsored by the GHS Student Council. Ehrler is one of the GHS students who is learning from home this year.

COVID-19 has changed the way students at Galena High School learn and experience the school year. Students have been offered a variety of options for attending school this year. Some students are 100% remote and attend school only through Google Meet. Some students are hybrid, coming into the building for hands-on or difficult classes and staying home for others. The rest of the students are wearing a mask, sanitizing their hands and coming to school every day. But even that isn’t the same. Students don’t work in groups in the classroom, and we all have to sit facing forward. There are no lockers, no sporting events and no hanging out in the hallways with my friends. 

Those students who are 100% remote have made that decision for a variety of reasons. Zack Ehrler explained why he is strictly remote. “I’m doing online learning because my family is high-risk and I think it’s important to do what I can to protect them.” Some people stay home because of health problems, or just for the safety of their family members. I like the thought of doing online school, but it’s just not the same. 

I understand this reason for staying home. But I feel like I’m missing out on some of the things that I dreamed about for my senior year. I wanted to have a normal homecoming week, where the seniors make the freshmen look bad. I want to be able to play volleyball and help my team return to state. I want to dance with my friends at winter formal and take my boyfriend to Prom. I also want to be able to attend a “normal” graduation ceremony. I feel like none of these dreams are going to come true this year. 

COVID-19 can be pretty scary as we have had four student cases and one teacher who has come down with it. Many precautions have been taken like wearing a mask all the time while at school, sitting six feet apart when you can, all students facing the same direction, and a lot of hand sanitizer. It isn’t the same though just because we have to work individually rather than a group. Lockers are not allowed this year, which means kids carry around bookbags. A lot of kids have been complaining of their backs hurting and their bags being heavy. I agree with them because usually waiting around in the hallways is when you meet and talk with your friends before school. 

Fall sports that usually happen, like volleyball and football, are not happening until the spring- which who knows if it even will. I was excited for my senior season with my friends this year with the hope to go back to state. Football games always bring everyone together, especially with us starting a football student section last year. They will hopefully play in February, in the snow and rain. Better get your snow cleats ready!

COVID-19 has changed the way students learn at Galena High School. Some all online, some hybrid, and some all in-person. In-person kids wear a mask all day long, and wash their hands continuously. It definitely is not the same school year we had last year.