Millions of lives have drastically changed over the course of the past year as a result of the deadly coronavirus pandemic-students of Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) included. After being off-campus for an entire year, students have emerged from the pandemic haze with new experiences ranging from Broadway to baking. Below are stories of how multiple students’ lives and mindsets were impacted by the inescapable worldwide pandemic, and what each has carried back with them in their return to the Foothill Tech campus this fall.
Although the COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc, some students were able to discover their own version of a silver lining behind doors and masks. Between shorter than average Zoom classes and closures of sports teams and extracurriculars, many Foothill Tech students explored new interests, learning more about their passions and themselves. Senior Isaac Hall described how the pandemic opened new opportunities for him to pursue creative interests like starting his own Youtube channel, an endeavor he might not have taken on otherwise.
The coronavirus lockdown also opened up a way for Foothill Tech sophomore Megan Graves to explore musical theatre and Broadway. She shares, “it’s a really cool way to meet new people, interact with different things and different ways to express yourself.” Returning to the school campus this fall, Graves ’24 was able to join Foothill Tech’s drama club as a way to continue her newfound creative interest.
Teens kept out of the classroom for almost a year struggled greatly with the lifestyle changes they had to make as well. Students such as Keylah Valencia ‘23 described a “loss of motivation” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
For many students, Foothill Tech provides an ensured way to keep connections with peers on a daily basis. When schools were forced to close for safety measures, some students’ views on social interaction shifted. New appreciations of time with and away from people formed within Foothill Tech’s season of isolation.
Since its reopening, Foothill Tech has created opportunities for students to reconnect socially, including starting the year with three no-backpack days to encourage bonding within classrooms.
Living through one of the largest pandemics in history is altering many students’ lives positively and negatively. The Dragons have returned to their classrooms and hallways, but the many changes Foothill Tech has made as a whole during the coronavirus pandemic will most likely last through generations of students to come.