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How Are We Doing Now That We’re Back?

In August, the CB student body made their return to campus to have their first semester fully in person since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last school year, the Class of 2023 were sophomores who had only experienced high school through the first couple months of freshman year and then online as sophomores. They […]

In August, the CB student body made their return to campus to have their first semester fully in person since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last school year, the Class of 2023 were sophomores who had only experienced high school through the first couple months of freshman year and then online as sophomores. They returned to the hardest year of the high school experience: junior year. 

Academics aside, with it being safer to come back to school, most people are returning back to where they left off freshman year. Some are returning to their hectic lives of sports everyday, being in the studio editing packages and writing scripts for the next KBFT episode, and growing their small business. 

“We are picking up where we left off freshman year, and now we have more responsibilities and extracurriculars to go along with it,” shared Reese Ramirez (‘23). 

However, the reality is the transition wasn’t as smooth as we all expected it to be. 

“Last year none of us paid attention to school and just being able to transition from hanging out with friends while doing school to going back fully and not just Googling every answer was a struggle,” said Sam Strachan (‘23).

Shifting from rolling out of bed a minute before class to walking on campus almost thirty minutes before the first bell rang everyday was tiring at first. The first month was really just trying to adjust back to the normal life of school we all once had. 

“At first it was a struggle for like the first month or so, then I got back into the groove of how school works, without it being all online and it being actually in person,” Landon Howard (‘23) expressed. 

Being fully in person has held many advantages for people in the school media, especially those taking KBFT. 

“Probably my favorite part about being back is being in the KBFT studio and using the equipment and not making the show from home,” Sam expressed.

From filming sports games to packages to an actual show in the studio and not through a Teams screen has made a difference in the quality of the show. Even the opportunities beyond media have vastly increased since our online year. The ability to go on more school trips, in-person events like Holy Bowl and homecoming, and the ability to form new relationships.

“We got STN happening in February and we are all motivated to get the best shows going,” Sam shared. “I think everyone is more motivated this year than they were last year and our show definitely proves that.”

STN is the Student Television Network convention where schools from all around the country come to compete for various awards in broadcasting and video making. This February CB will be attending STN in Long Beach.

Earlier this year, KBFT aired a segment on a small business called Reese’s Rings created by CB’s very own Reese Ramirez. She created the business when making jewelry over quarantine and during online school then selling them through her Instagram account. Now with having school all day, volleyball practice after school, and working a job at a gymnastics gym, is there time in the day to also run a business? 

“It was hard trying to find a balance between work, school, sports, and a social life, but when I got back into the swing of things it became easier,” Reese shared.

Throughout the past year, her business has continued to expand to more than just selling jewelry, and she has used it as her creative outlet and a way to make new relationships with people. 

“My business has become an outlet for me to help de-stress and given me the opportunity to meet new people whom I wouldn’t have met regularly,” she mentions. 

Her business has gone beyond past selling to family and a few friends and has created an outreach to different people from CB and other high schools as well. 

“I am going up to people who I have no clue who they are ,and I like giving it to people who don’t really know who I am, and I try to get to know them and build friendships from that,” the junior shared. 

With all these extracurriculars and business, Reese has found the new schedule has made school easier and more manageable with her personal schedule. 

“I feel like with the new schedule everyone can get so much done and use the time more productively rather than the 45 minute classes we used to have,” Reese shared. 

As most of us remember, block days were only two days out of the week, but for some new students, the new schedule has become their normal. Landon transferred to CB last year from River City High School to give himself a change in scenery and further his academic and athletic career.  

However, he joined at the beginning of his sophomore year in the midst of the pandemic. Despite everyone keeping their cameras off and staying on mute, Landon found ways to meet people around the awkward silence of online.

“I had made friends through online, football, and other people who I had grown up with,” Landon mentioned. “We had our longest [football] season during Covid and that gave me the opportunity to meet more people through training and practices.”

You can’t really have a real high school experience online nor understand CB’s culture to its fullest. However, Landon was able to make his transition smooth and effortless through the connections he has at CB.

“It was easy for me to learn about CB’s culture through my mom and her whole side because they went to CB and, along with some friends I already knew,” he shared. 

Landon was easily able to become a part of CB like the rest of the class of 2023. No matter if we started at CB freshman year or went somewhere else, we knew what to expect coming back into this year. Still, not everyone was able to have the ideal freshman year that we had. The sophomores had only experienced high school through a screen. 

“Even though they may be sophomores in age, they’re experiencing everything for the first time just like the freshmen,” Reese says. 

With the circumstances faced, they have not fully grasped the culture of CB until this year alongside the freshmen. That’s why the gap between the lower and upperclassmen goes further than just the class hierarchy – its two groups essentially having two different high school experiences. 

“They are not really connected with the school like we are and they didn’t come back having those memories we had as freshman,” Sam claims. “They don’t have the class spirit.”

Even though we all have times where we miss waking up a minute before class, coming fully back has more pros than online ever did. Through my conversations with Sam, Reese, and Landon, it became apparent that this year has brought new friendships, memories, and opportunities to add to our high school experience. we have picked up right where we left off freshman year.

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