Isabel Oliver is a senior at Boulder High this year. Although new to The Owl, she has always loved writing and literary arts. Isabel grew up with an Editor in Chief for a mother and has always been fascinated by the inner workings of journalism. Isabel joined The Owl to improve her journalistic writing and to report on current events that she’s passionate about. Outside of The Owl, you can find Isabel acting with Troupe 60, singing in the choir, reading a good book, watching copious amounts of Netflix, or jamming with her band. After graduating from Boulder, she hopes to go to college and become either a therapist or a social worker - although she’s leaning towards liberal arts, so that’s...
Boulder High One Year Later
March 12, 2021
On March 12th, 2020 Boulder High students wrapped up their spring semester abruptly, planning for a short two-week spring break and then back to normal. Now, a full year later, COVID-19 is still around and our lives are drastically different. Yet, even though this pandemic Boulder High students have been able to maintain a community and work together to keep bleeding purple and shining like gold.
Students have gone through shutdowns and reopenings, COVID-19 scares, adapting to a new way of life and still dealing with the hardships of high school. But how have students persevered through this tough time? To gain a little more insight into how this year has affected Boulder High students and their community, I asked the student body to tell me about their past year.
An overwhelming majority of students felt that they had changed in the past year. Not only has the past year consisted of isolation and plague, but it also has been the year of monumental social change and movements like Black Lives Matter being front and center of political debates. Senior Elle McDonald said that due to the past year “I’ve become so much more aware of narratives and experiences outside of my own. I’m really able to feel empathy in a new way and connect deeper to people I’d never spoken to before.”
Social movement is a great opportunity for moral change, but many recognized that the pandemic gave them an opportunity to expand their abilities and become stronger than they were before. Senior Carlos Aragon recognized that the isolation “allowed me to spend some quality time with myself and enabled me to learn more about myself and become more comfortable with who I am.” Aragon went on to explain that even though he’s “grown accustomed to the lack of social interaction, I still find it very easy to reminisce and miss the old days” (pre-pandemic).
Many students also feel like the pandemic has given them more independence and the ability to be closer with their families. Senior Sara Reardon adds that “I’ve had a lot more freedom since I don’t need to dedicate as much time to being in school.” Junior Olivia Wong has enjoyed “getting to spend a lot of time with my parents and siblings, especially last spring before my sister went to college.”
Many students are inspired by how the BHS community has come together to combat this bizarre time. Junior Kristine Urban explains that “seeing the community come together to protect our vulnerable community” has been the best part of this year.
But, the changes that have happened in the past year haven’t all been good. Alain Ettenton, a sophomore, cites the constant changes in learning habits as fuel for some of the turmoil. “The past year has been a roller coaster of changes and confusion.” Ettenton elaborates that “going from regular to online school, then to hybrid has been an interesting experience, and in order to be part of it, you have to change, you have to adapt. You change the way you do work, the way you talk, even that way you view your peers.”
Ettenton wasn’t the only one that felt that their social life and Boulder High connections had suffered due to the pandemic. 65 percent of respondents agreed that it had been difficult to make connections with peers, especially for those starting and finishing their careers at BHS.
Freshman Gunar Shaffer explains that because he recently moved here from Texas, it’s been especially hard to make connections. Many new students also feel overwhelmed by things like homework, online learning and staying focused in school.
Seniors, on the other hand, feel disappointed that this is the end of their four-year career. Senior class president Drake Arthur felt like “we didn’t get to have a senior year.” Gabi Brown expands on this pointing out that “missing out on absolutely everything that people say is ‘the best time of your life’ is really a terrible feeling.” Senior Giselle Ramirez Chairez agrees, stating that “Being a senior and not experiencing my last moments of high school makes me realize that I won’t ever get to relive those moments ever again.”
But many elements of school are still the same as they ever have been. One of the ways that BHS students have stayed integrated with the community is through activities. Brown explains that having even a small part of her volleyball season was very rewarding “especially because it’s my last season… I’m very happy I was able to play at all.” Danielle Cohen, also a senior, explained that being a part of the “DECA program and being able to do a project to benefit the community” made this year better than it could have been otherwise.
One of the seemingly hardest things about this past year for Boulder High students has been the transition into online learning. Sophomore Priya Devanesan shares that “it’s been harder to keep up with assignments. There are so many ways to very easily be distracted and it’s also easier to procrastinate.” But, it still feels that “ultimately, school is just school” and there’s bound to be struggles no matter what the year looks like. What’s more important is how we view and handle these hardships.
Senior Haniel Morquecho put this sentiment into words stating “It’s been a good year…It was unfortunate that as a senior I wasn’t able to enjoy my last year of high school. Yet I’ve been able to look at the positive. I’ve realized that’s is not about the cup being half empty or half full, because at the end of the day, there is water in the cup, and for that I’m thankful.”
Boulder High isn’t the only community that has been severely impacted by this past year, but it is our community. Despite everything that’s happened in the past 12 months, I’m proud to say that we all are still Panthers and came out stronger than we were before.