COVID requires extra adjustment for Chelsea freshmen


Summer Swindle, Buzz Staff Reporter

Covid-19 has left schools with a lot of questions. Should masks be required? Should we rearrange our schedule? Should we go back to school at all? These questions affect Shelby County, the school’s staff, the teachers, but most of all, they affect the students.

While sophomores, juniors, and seniors are already well acquainted with Chelsea High School, freshmen are left to fend for themselves when navigating the high school – both literally and academically. Being a freshman myself, I wondered about the experiences of other freshmen when transitioning to high school.

The first day is remembered as a stressful day for most freshmen. One ninth grader, Julieanne Newman, said, “It was worse than last year because there was no day to find your classes before school started.” Every student seemed to have a similar experience of frantically trying to find their classes and navigate the school at the same time. 

One of the biggest changes, and one that Freshmen seem to be very happy about, is the school taking a more laid back approach, at least initially, with phones and the dress code. Students would noticeably get in trouble more often at Chelsea Middle for something that is slightly out of dress code or simply just having their phones in their pockets.

Isabella Robertson summed up the problem facing her and her fellow freshmen.

“I feel like in Middle school we were told that High school was so strict and it made me seem like we had to become adults faster,” Robertson said. “But in high school, they are so much more relaxed about the phone and dress code. They don’t separate the boys and girls as much as they did in middle school. So far, I am enjoying high school much more than middle school.”

When observing the school, one notices that the students aren’t terribly worried about Covid-19, a sentiment shared by freshman Zac Townsend.

The worry of COVID-19 for me has gone down drastically for me because I’m honestly just tired of it,” Townsend said. “People should just wear their masks and stay 6 feet from others and be safe.”

Some students agree with the school’s approach to reopening, saying that every precaution was taken and that they felt safe, while others argued that it was too fast.

Of course, one of this year’s biggest changes is the option to do school online via Edgenuity. One common trend in freshmen’s responses was the animosity for Edgenuity and how online learning doesn’t seem to be effective. One online student described Edgenuity as “boring and difficult.” In-person students say that Edgenuity isn’t helpful and leaves them feeling lost for when they show up to school in person.

Class of 2024 graduates are bound to have a different freshman experience than everyone else because of everything going on in the world. But even under these unfortunate circumstances, Chelsea High has found many ways to make the school’s reopening work. Some changes are unfortunate but necessary to make sure we can all go back to school safely.