Freshmen struggle with their first year of high school during the pandemic

De+Soto+High+school+freshman+work+on+homework+in+Emily+Shepard%27s+English+9+class+on+Feb.+4.

Will Hudelson

De Soto High school freshman work on homework in Emily Shepard’s English 9 class on Feb. 4.

Will Hudelson, Staff Reporter

This school year has been different for everyone, but it can be even crazier for the freshmen getting through their first year of highschool.

Between schedule changes, masks and multiple different learning forms, it is hard for anyone attending high school, but for freshmen, this is the only high school they have known. 

They haven’t been able to cheer on the football team from the student section, nor have they had the chance to meet many new peers. The freshmen class has missed out on many different DHS traditions including pep assemblies.    

For freshman Logan Birk, meeting new people has been the most challenging aspect this year. 

“To me it was meeting new people, because it has been hard to talk with masks and six feet apart in the classroom and the lunchroom,” Birk said.

Freshman Ashlyn Hammel claims she isn’t getting the same opportunities as she normally would.

“I feel like I just don’t get as much social interaction with friends and with teachers, and just learning in general,” Hammel said.

This year’s schedule changes have only made things more confusing for the freshmen. Between hybrid and full online classes, students have had trouble with deadlines and getting help from teachers. 

Not only do students have to keep track of where their classes are in a much bigger building, but they also have to keep track of what classes to go to on what days, as the schedule has changed four times now.

It’s safe to say that it has been very overwhelming for these ninth graders, but it hasn’t been all bad. Birk had a successful soccer season to help him get through the year.

“We were lucky to be on the soccer team, so I met a lot of new people on the soccer team, so doing sports definitely helped,” Birk said.

Clubs and sports teams have allowed these freshmen to meet new peers and build a close relationship to these people. It seems sports have been the highlight of the school year for those who have participated.

As for Hammel, she is grateful for the teachers and everything they have done to keep us in school.

“I will remember how hard the teachers worked, because I definitely feel like they actually care about us. That’s what I like about De Soto,” said Hammel. 

It has been a long year for these ninth graders and will continue to be for everyone. So, despite the lack of social interaction and several schedule changes, these freshmen have made the most out of this year that has been consumed by COVID-19.