By: Ishita Kopparapu

2020 has been unpredictable and frankly gloomy. But I want to take a minute to think of the amazing things that have happened to me and I ask you to do the same. Starting at the beginning of the year, pre-Covid, I spent my New Year’s with friends and family WITHOUT the masks and sanitizers. In February, I found out that I was going to HB. Even during quarantine, I got to spend time with my family and do things that I never thought I would get a chance to. Now putting that aside for a minute, fast forward to early September. My freshman year at a brand new school in the middle of Worldwide Pandemic. I would say that is definitely a first. Now let’s go into some expectations vs. reality, shall we? 

The first thing that came to mind when I thought of starting school was the first day.

The expectation: Walking into school with my backpack and phone without having to worry about hiding it (I don’t know about you but having my phone out during school was not allowed). Walking down HB’s halls with excitement of just meeting new people and being in a new environment.

The reality: Waking up to a loud alarm clock only to see that school was the room two doors down the hall. Sitting in front of a computer seeing the heads of people in random zoom calls that I was way too tired and discouraged to even focus on. 

The next thing that instantly came to mind was classes in general.

The expectation: A class with a lively conversation and good jokes passed around. Tons of positive energy and emotions filled in the air.

The reality (at home on zoom): Being projected onto a giant board with 10 people watching your every move on camera.

The reality (at school with the hybrid model at play): Everyone’s face half covered with muffled voices and a creepy “owl” staring at you! 

One of the biggest things that came to mind was clothing.

The expectation: Walking into school with your new outfit that you bought when you went school shopping. People telling you how cute it is.

The reality:  Realizing that all those new clothes you bought are actually sitting in the back of your closet without a home :(. While you sit in a zoom class with an acceptable sweatshirt on top, you wear pajama pants on the bottom.  

The most recent one we all experienced was snow days. Remember the superstition about getting a snow day was flushing an ice cube down the toilet, putting a spoon under your pillow, and putting a white crayon in the freezer? Well those days are over.

The expectation(past): It’s a snow day! I can sit at home and binge my favorite show. But first I get to SLEEP IN!

The reality (now): It’s a snow day! Wait, I still have school! Seriously? And so you log on to the zoom classes looking at your laptop screen which could be playing a totally different thing right now. Oh how I missed my shows! 

On a more serious note, When I asked my fellow freshmen including our very own freshman class presidents, these two words circulated to the top of the list. NERVOUS and ANXIOUS. Alia Ali described her emotions coming to a new school in general as “anxious” and “scared”. Now you may be thinking that anyone that comes to new school would generally feel that way but let’s hear from our second class president and what she has to say about starting her freshman year at HB. Colleen Nakhooda described her initial feelings as “being confused but kind of clumsy finding your way through high school.” She also said that “it can be very stressful and a little frustrating, but also full of opportunity and hope…”. These are some wise words from two great leaders of our school. For me, I personally felt scared because I didn’t know what to expect but from the experience I had as a shadow, I had the confidence that my classmates would help me get through the year as I wanted to help them get through theirs. Some other fellow freshmen also described their initial emotions of high school as “incredibly excited and jittery,” “A little anxious to see how everything would play out…”, “nervous and excited at the same time,” and “really stressful trying to adjust to school.” These are the words of some of our freshmen. Many students keep their hopes up and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our freshmen class of 2024 is full of mixed emotions but they don’t fail to see the silver lining. I hope this strand of positivity helps everyone who is just ready to just give up and lose hope. Don’t worry! The school year is almost over and I can’t wait to say that we all brought down the house on the 2020-2021 school year! 


For Moral Support- Alia Ali (Freshman) 

Quoted people- Alia Ali (Freshman), Colleen Nakhooda (Freshman). And other fellow freshmen.