Freshman Nilou Enayat went into Old Lincoln School (OLS) for the first time last Thursday for orientation. After taking a tour of the school and learning the protocols that come with hybrid learning, Enayat returned home and prepared to attend her first day of classes the following Monday. While Enayat said she was initially nervous to be at OLS, after going to orientation she said she felt more assured with the process.
How did you feel while you were in the building?
At first I was nervous. I think [it’s] a combination of not knowing anybody and mostly the fear of the unknown. But now since they gave us a lot of information, I feel more confident going back to school. I think the extra week they took to delay helped them prepare a lot; it feels less rushed. I feel a lot more mentally prepared myself having the extra week. I still feel a little nervous because we don’t know everything, but I feel like the precautions they are taking are good for making students feel safe.
Enayat, who will have classes at OLS on Mondays and Tuesdays, said she was still nervous about eating outside and navigating the hallways between class periods.
Reflecting on her first day of hybrid learning, Enayat said she had found the beginning of the day to be a bit overwhelming, but that things became easier by the end of the day. Enayat said that the presence of “up only” staircases and “down only” staircases made navigating the building much easier and lessened her worries about hallway overcrowding.
One thing Enayat remains unsure about is meeting new people. She said that she does feel closer to some students that she has been in breakout rooms with, but that things still feel divided.
When you were picturing your first day, pre-COVID, how was it different from this?
Envisioning what high school would look like, I thought it would be [that] you had your previous friends and then [you would] meet new friends, but I feel like it’s the same [as before]. It feels like, instead of mixing the middle schools, [that] they’re all together but separate.
Enayat found Tuesday to have gone much better than Monday. With two of her electives falling on Tuesday, Enayat was able to go home during lunch and Zoom in to her remaining classes. She said that she still had some troubles navigating the building, but that the general flow of things was much easier.
After attending her first official week of hybrid learning, Enayat reflected back on the worst and best parts of her week.
Now that you’ve had a full hybrid week, what would you say has been the best part? What was the worst part?
The best part was finally getting to go into school again for the first time in seven months; even though it was stressful, it was worth it. The worst part was the feeling [of] walking in and not knowing what was going to happen. But I think the build up was worse than the actual first day. Seeing all the faces of people you haven’t seen in a while and getting to experience lunch with your friends again was so rewarding. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.