By Aileen Song and David Wang

As the covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, the school year is not the same as before. In addition to school uniforms, students also wear big masks. Before entering school, they ought to take their temperature in order to ensure their own securities every day. Teenagers carry disinfectant, hand sanitizer and paper towels in their schoolbags. For the purpose of protecting our health and safety, the school has also done a lot of protective measures. For instance, every corner of the school has been disinfected; infrared thermometers as well as hand sanitizing sprays have been installed at the school gate; temporary isolation points have been set up beside the medical room and students are required to take their temperature both before entering the classroom and after eating lunch.

Aside from that, we take part in both online courses and traditional ones in the classroom as our daily necessities. Previously, students have own online class at home with less supervision, where students may completely run away, leaving their devices and playing while the online courses are taking place; or even falling asleep without anyone noticing. But now as we are having online lessons in the classroom with the camera on, there is no need to concern about anyone not paying attention to their teachers. However, there is still one drawback, the internet in the classroom is not always good enough to operate the online classes normally. Students have different opinions toward having online lessons in the classroom. Scott said, “As the pandemic still infesting, teachers were having a hard journey to come back to school. Even just missing a couple of teachers in school is a great loss to the program. Fortunately, we are using a new way of online meeting that can make the entire class participate and also allows teachers to be in the part of the class. Though Internet would sometimes face difficulty in connecting, this method is way more effective than in the quarantine time.” While “I think having online classes are really hard these days. Our internet always goes wrong, and I can’t even focus after the class had finally started. Before I can put my mind back to studying, the internet went wrong again. However, everything is heading towards the good way. After one week we don’t have to suffer from internet issues anymore! We can see all the teachers in person!”, another student in Grade 12, Beatrice said.

Anyhow, as being new Grade 12s, we need to keep studying hard no matter how the external conditions change so as to get into ideal universities and programs. Jacky mentioned, “In this new semester, we experienced both traditional learning style as well as e-learning. Sometimes there is network delay and we might miss some important parts of the course. In order to get full understanding of the units that we covered, I will check course materials more often after each class. Moreover, courses in Grade 12 are quite demanding to me, therefore I need to make more effort and balance time between study, life and application to universities.”

Overall, I think this new semester is giving us an opportunity to grow and adapt. Arranging time properly is vital for all of us. Dividing the time of the day into several parts can help us avoid boredom and inefficiency caused by long-time concentration and doing one thing.