Freshmen reflect on unusual school year


Photos provided by Cassandra Darmodjo

Freshman Cassandra Darmodjo writes reminders on her agenda.

Juan Rivera, Reporter

Freshman Angie Velis looked forward to her first year of high school, even while knowing that she may not get to experience a “normal” school year until 2021-2022. 

Velis, who attended Pin Oak Middle School, had looked forward to attending homecoming and making new friends. She wanted all of it. Velis was ready to be a high school student.

“I was feeling nervous because I was going to start my freshman year. It made me really sad that I didn’t get a chance to enjoy my first year of high school,” Velis said

Although 180 out of 695 freshmen will return to face-to-face learning, the largest group to return to school on Oct. 19, it will not be the exact same. 

“I wanted to experience the overall homecoming experience, that’s what I was looking forward to the most,” Velis said, who will be one of the 180.  

Despite the challenges of virtual learning, freshmen had the opportunity to join clubs during Club Jamboree. Although club meetings aren’t the same this year, Velis joined the TikTok club during the virtual Club Jamboree event. 

“I joined the TikTok Club because it involved dancing and it seems pretty fun,” Velis said.

Freshmen Cassandra Darmodjo and Harmony Lucas both joined sports. Darmodjo is part of the Belles and Lucas is on the track team. 

“For Belles we just warm-up and stretch then we learn our routine, and we have to submit our dances online instead of doing it in person as a group,” Darmodjo said. 

Given the circumstances, Darmodjo finds it difficult to learn her routines at home. 

“It’s harder because the routine is mirrored so it’s hard figuring out which arm and leg to use,” she said. 

Lucas experienced similar confusion.

“It’s strange and honestly difficult because I don’t know how to turn things in,” Lucas said. 

Lucas is anxious to return to the track and is ready to start training.

Besides extracurriculars and school events, meeting new people and building connections with teachers is also a huge part of a freshman’s school year. 

“I was looking forward to building bonds with people. It’s harder online to make friends so there isn’t much time to talk,” Lucas said.