Full-Time Schedule Welcome — but Exhausting

The+hallways+are+more+crowded+than+usual%2C+especially+during+passing+periods

Susan O'Brien

The hallways are more crowded than usual, especially during passing periods

A few weeks into the return to a regular five-day in-person learning schedule after a year of hybrid learning due to the pandemic, students and teachers have mixed feelings about being back.

Many are happy about the return to normalcy.

I am very excited to have all of my classes back in one room,” English Teacher Mrs. Amanda Urbaniak said. 

She loves being able to engage her students in class discussions again.

“The students are again exposed to different viewpoints,” she said, “There are certain dynamics that you get in a classroom and it shakes things up when you get all of them together again.”

For hands-on classes such as art, the return to five day has been especially welcome.

“Instead of only having two days to use my materials,” Art Teacher Mrs. Kelley French said, “they’re using my materials five days a week again.” 

Horry County School District began allowing schools to return to a normal schedule starting in February once plexiglass shields were installed in all classrooms as a protective measure against COVID. Socastee High School was the last high school to have their final phase of plexiglass put in on April 19, and students returned fulltime April 26.

Sophomore Seamus Steves has had a hard time readjusting to being in person full-time.

“It’s not fun because you have to wake up early and be here,” he said.

On the bright side, he has noticed a shift in the atmosphere now that everyone is together.

“I think that more people are social now, five days a week, because there’s so much more chatter in classrooms.”

He does not like the plexiglass. “It’s stupid and pointless to have it up,” he said.

Freshman Ariel Rowe said a lot of students find it cumbersome. “I think everybody kind of is annoyed with it.” 

Sophomore Sydney Alderman said the school feels “really crowded.”

“I don’t think it’s because of everyone being here; I think it’s because of all the glass.”

She too has felt exhausted over the last few weeks.

“It’s a lot more tiring to be at school every day instead of just two days a week,” she said, “It’s a lot more energy, because you’re kind of coming off of no school for a year and a half.”

Junior Cade Cox said he is not bothered by the plexiglass. However, he agrees that adjusting to a regular schedule again has been hard. He was used to getting all his work done while in person for two days, he said. He had to attend class virtually the other three days, but it was not as demanding as being in school.

“When I’m outside of school, it’s kind of just the more relaxed,” he said. “I’d have my three days off.”

Sydney is excited about being able to actually participate in more class events.

“In leadership we get to go to the elementary school and help out there,” she said.

She is also happy to be getting more help from her teachers everyday.

“You have that constant motivation, instead of like two days,” she said.

Freshman Jaylyn Todd was just glad to have everyone back together on a daily basis.

“I was happy when I was told we were going back to 5 days a week,” she said. “I haven’t seen my friends in forever.”