Students find benefits to being in school with hybrid schedule

On January 19, students returned to Grayslake North. After a full semester of remote learning, students were welcomed back into the building in small groups as the faculty and staff implemented a hybrid learning model.

“School is empty and strange though,” said senior Kenny Dean of hybrid group B. “It’s just the same as going from class to class, but every class has like six people at most and no one talks.”

The small classroom size is mainly due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulations, which limits the number of people in order to reduce the chance of illnesses spreading. The school is also following other regulations and guidelines with a mask policy, a temperature check at the door, and a thorough cleaning of every classroom after the class is done.

“There’s no real benefit or downside to hybrid for me,” said sophomore Drake Runyon of hybrid group A. “My only concerns are safety concerns, just being in close-ish quarters with others.”

The sentiment is shared with other students across the school. It can be exhausting seeing so many people at once after spending a semester away from people, according to one student who requested to remain anonymous.

“My parents thought hybrid would help my mental health, I guess. Because of my anxiety issues, it’s been much worse to be around people, so my main concern was having any energy to do anything,” the anonymous student said.

Many students, like Dean and Runyon, find hybrid to be relatively similar to Zoom classes, but others such as the anonymous student find things more difficult than fully online classes.

“Teachers piled on a lot more work since we went back,” the anonymous student said. “But some are a bit more laid back with the students and give more than just one specific way to do stuff.”

The workload brought on by schools can be very damaging to a student’s mental health, and it is easy to get overwhelmed by schoolwork, according to Dean.

“Mental health is being constantly deteriorated by school, but being in school makes me feel less worried than being out,” Dean said. “Personally, my only suggestion is to make Mondays work days, not every class.”

“I thought going in person would give me some form of motivation to get what I had to do done,” Runyon said. “It didn’t really help.”