Starting high school online

Freshman Sierra Fesler works on her homework in between classes.

Sierra Fesler

Freshman Sierra Fesler works on her homework in between classes.

Calli Moody, Reporter

There are expectations for high school, especially to an incoming freshman. It is usually a time to make friends, discover yourself and your passions and generally just have fun. Virtual learning makes school much more difficult for many students, both socially and academically. 

For a freshman just starting out their high school journey, it is difficult to adjust without access to the resources usually available to them, whether it be friends or easy access to teachers. Isabella Lenerz, a freshman at CHS, shares her own experience.

“Peers have always pushed me forward for homework and schoolwork and they’ve always just made me laugh,” Lenerz said. “So [not seeing] people is the biggest issue I have with not getting to go on campus.”

According to the Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD), the rate of D’s and F’s has gone up compared to previous years. Candy Chesnut, a biology teacher at CHS, explains how this could be attributed to the switch to virtual learning. 

“So they [the parents] are not supervising them doing this work, which they shouldn’t have to, but some of the kids aren’t motivated on their own,” Chesnut said. “I think there’s a lot of other factors going on with kids, and a lot of other stresses that we don’t see or know about.”

High school is known to be social and fun for many students. It’s not meant to be held on a screen, sometimes in pajamas, at home. Students don’t get the same experiences that they did before COVID-19. Chesnut shares memories and experiences from previous years. 

The fun part of high school is the social part”

— Candy Chesnut

“I mean, the fun part of high school is the social part,” Chesnut said. “And I mean, Carlsbad High School is fun. Football games are crazy. We have you know, just the little stuff that they do, like first day of school they have the music blasting, and everybody runs through this tunnel, and there’s balloons and everyone’s high fiving.”

With COVID-19 still a pressing concern for many families, virtual learning is still in action until January, when a hybrid model will start. Lenerz gives another perspective on virtual learning. 

“Right now the only thing I’m enjoying is getting to see people, and feel like you’re in school when you’re absolutely not,” Lenerz said. “At least for the time being we can all see each other and feel like we’re a part of something.”

Although virtual learning is not ideal for many students, it can have its advantages. Sierra Fesler, a freshman, gives insight into her favorite parts of being online. 

“I’m enjoying being able to sleep in a lot more, and having a much more flexible schedule,” Fesler said. “I’ve been able to do school from wherever I want. I can be in another state and still be able to go.”

Education is typically held in person rather than virtually. These unprecedented times have ushered in many changes, but Fesler is looking forward to experiencing some normal high school activities.

“I’m most looking forward to being able to meet new people and seeing all my old friends and getting to experience that campus culture,” Fesler said.