2020-21: A Year In Review


Although empty hallways characterized the school experience far too much this year, those same hallways won’t be empty for long. Photo credit: Public Domain.

The far-reaching affects of the COVID-19 pandemic are well documented. Every news source in the world has been scrambling to report every aspect of the pandemic ever since it burst onto the scene last year, so here at the Jetstream, we’ve made a conscious effort to draw attention away from COVID and focus our effort on other subjects equally important to the Air Academy community.

But what else is there to talk about? The pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives, taking over a year of our normal high school experience in the process. I don’t mean to glorify high school like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off did, but there’s something special about cramming over a thousand teenagers into a 50s era building and asking them to discover their life’s purpose within four surprisingly fast years.

Lately, the concept of development keeps coming to mind. High school is aimed to be a time of self-discovery, growth, and development, but the 202o-21 school year has made me feel stalled out. Up until my junior year, I can see noticeable changes in myself throughout each school year, whether it’s physical appearance, sense of humor, or something as trivial as my worldview, but recently, I can’t see those changes.

Sure I got my driver’s license, got a job, bought a truck, and had fun with old and new friends, but those events are few and far between. Most of this past year can be characterized as dull. Even with in-person school returning all four days of the week, and me longing for more human connection, I lack the confidence and adaptability to stray from my at-home school routine.

I don’t think there’s a simple solution to this problem, eventually the world will return to normal and students across the globe will be readjusted to the normal school life.

The CSLR program coming to Air Academy this summer is designed to ease the transition for students struggling to maintain normalcy this past year.

“We want students who may have had an isolating and non-standard academic year to have a chance to get together with other students and with teachers and to rebuild some academic and social habits that they may have lost during COVID,” stated CSLR coordinator Liz Walhof.

Although the CSLR program is certainly a step toward returning to normalcy, I believe it will take much more than that for high school students to truly recover from the past year. Every student is unique, some will readjust smoother to school life than others, who will inevitably need more time.

I’m ready to put this year behind me. Although this year-long ordeal has been a challenge for all of us to say the least, I know I’ll look back and remember the good moments. I hope the Air Academy community can do the same.