For all students, the last two years have been a bit of a blur. Covid-19 spreading caused the world to shut down, and forced alternate ways to continue with the business. Plainwell high school resorted to using online applications such as Zoom and Buzz to continue learning, and negative implications were soon to follow. Online classes are less intense than in person, and so, a lot of students have had less success than years previous to Covid. For some, it was a quick bounce back from their learning deficit, but many are still trying to recover.
Other than learning, Covid has brought a wave of negative mental health issues to students. As one can imagine, sitting in the same room and staring at a screen for long periods of time can start to wear someone down. Many students burnt out quickly and lost motivation to give their all. With an already less intensive work schedule, a loss of motivation made a lot of generally good scholar students slip their grades.
Outside of school, Covid cut off physical social interactions which had a correlation with negative mental health. Being isolated with nothing more than your family, who one might not actually like, is really difficult. A few weeks off sounds like a fun time, but not having the freedom to leave your house takes a toll
Now, almost 2 full years after the start of Covid, high school students at Plainwell High School have some experiences they would like to share.
Steele Madison ‘23 states “I feel like quarantine and virtual learning has lowered my expectations and set me at a real deficit in learning ability. There was a point during last school year when I lost motivation to do anything, and it set me behind. I worked hard to catch up, but it’s been difficult. This year I’ve gotten myself back on track, and I’m finally learning at a normal rate again”.
“My motivation for school has dramatically decreased over quarantine. I feel like since something like this happened when I was alive, nothing really matters anymore. Along with my motivation, I would say that my productivity has decreased. I feel like I’m doing everything and nothing at the same time. In the long term, everything is expected and nothing is happening. I feel like a worse student and not just in a grade way” Livy Perrin ‘24.
“I never got behind on work with Covid, but I definitely lost motivation. I made myself push through, but it was just sucky. I started doing the bare minimum, and I started sleeping a lot more. I definitely gained some mental health issues from isolation, but I’ve just kept on keeping on. Productivity was an issue, but I feel pretty confident with where I am now” Connor Hercik ‘23.
A common theme with students over quarantine is that virtual learning is less effective learning. More self-accountability came with Covid, and when students were already tired of being in isolation, their motivation went down. Fewer consequences were in place when work was turned in late, and students lost a sense of urgency. Students didn’t properly learn their subjects and got behind.
Covid has had a very negative impact on academic performance, but students have had a pretty resounding bounce back.