What Cary High Students are Saying About Returning to School

By: Maddie Goodman

Cary High students started their 6th week of the 2021-2022 school year this last Monday. For many underclassmen, these have been their first few weeks ever attending high school, and even upperclassmen have had limited experiences on campus. Everyone has had to make adjustments, so how are they doing?

A 10-question survey was provided to friends and classmates to collect data and information. The questionnaire was completed by various sources, including multiples from each class. 

The findings were as follows: 

Out of the respondents, 85% said that they feel settled into school after 4 weeks, and the other 15% claimed they were almost settled, but not quite fully there yet. After a year and a half of a deadly pandemic, everyone wants some normalcy and routine in their lives, and going back to school in person brings some of that with it.

 With attending school for the first time in a while, most people didn’t know what to expect or how to act. Respondents were asked if they had expectations and if they were met or not. The statistics were strewn across the board, but the majority, 55%, of participants noted that their expectations were met or exceeded. Based on that finding, it can be inferred that Cary High is succeeding in its mission to welcome students back. 

When asked about what they enjoy about our school, there were plenty of positive responses to report. Jocelyn Morgenstein, a sophomore, reported “I like that the teachers all care about us so much.” Multiple other respondents agreed; Colleen Bailey commented that “the teachers, students, and community, in general, are amazing.” Many other responses affirmed a sense of community through school spirit, activities, and events. Sounds like Cary is doing something right! 

Adjustments aren’t easy. Such a drastic change from online learning to in-person school has proven to be quite difficult. With that in mind, how do students feel about school in general? The answers speak for themselves. The words “tired”, “exhausting”, “overwhelming”, “stressed”, and “draining” were the most common amongst the results. Although it’s disheartening to hear, no one can deny it’s the truth. With school starting so early, the countless extracurricular activities available at Cary, and the everyday struggles of teenage-dom, it is no surprise that the batteries of students are so low by the end of the day. Keep your head up Imps, you’re doing great!

A conflict that groups and clubs on campus were hit with this year was gaining interest from new students. How were they going to get new members when so many students are new to Cary, and high school in general? Luckily, every single respondent claimed they have felt involved in school or felt that there have been adequate opportunities provided to get involved. And it’s true! The halls are lined with posters about club meetings, volunteer activities, and additional events in the Triangle for anyone interested. The morning announcements, broadcast over the intercom to every classroom at the start of 2nd period, include dates and times for club meetings, sports games, and other events. The official school website has entire sections dedicated to information on activities and student interests. Despite the struggle of holding events and recreational affairs during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cary High has proven they are determined to bring back and encourage student involvement. 

 Keep in mind, with the uncertainty of the coronavirus and infections still prevalent, going to school in person, engaging in activities, and being overly busy in the future are not guaranteed. If the number of infections spike suddenly, classes can quickly be moved back to online-only, club meetings will have to resume over Zoom, spectators for sports will be prohibited, and countless other activities will be put on hold. Take advantage of the freedom and opportunities that are available to teenagers while they last and do your part to keep yourself and others safe and healthy. 

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