The mental health break we never thought we needed

Students adapt to new hybrid learning format

Ellie F., Features Editor

With the pandemic still raging on, Commack High School has adopted a hybrid model for learning this year, which includes in person classes for core subjects and remote learning for electives. Students seem to appreciate having some in person classes for both educational and mental health purposes.

This contrasts how school operated in the spring when the building was closed down due to COVID-19. However, while being in school is helpful and allows students to see teachers and friends, alternating these days with the remote days of only electives is beneficial for students.

Students are happy that their core classes are being taught in person. For students who are less comfortable reaching out to teachers via email, being able to interact with and ask questions to them at school is very beneficial. This is especially important this year because students did not have a chance to meet their teachers and develop a rapport with them as they did last year before school went remote.

“I do get a little more stressed when talking or emailing with virtual teachers because I don’t know them in the same way as the teachers I see in person,” said senior Regina W.

Attending the core classes in person for students is advantageous.

“Having core classes in person provides normalcy within my new normal,” said senior Ryan O.

While students appreciate having core classes in person, they also see the benefit of the virtual days. After months of isolation, students look forward to seeing friends on the in-person school days, but these days are also more taxing than previous school years. There is less socialization in the hallways, very few clubs or sports and students find it harder to communicate while wearing masks all day.

Virtual days are not as rigorous and use them as a chance to regroup after their academic days. It gives students a chance to catch up and spend more time on assignments and reflect on what they learned in class the previous day.

“Virtual days are a good model to be able to relax and do homework,” said Ryan.

Students have also taken advantage of the more relaxed school days by using the time to develop new skills and hobbies. While students miss having clubs and organized sports, they have turned to other opportunities to constructively use their increased free time.

“Now that I have more time in the mornings on my remote days, I learned how to cook more advanced breakfasts like omelets. This is an independent skill that will be helpful in college and the future,” said Regina.

Students have also taken the opportunity to find employment and practice sports.

“During the pandemic, I got a job at Peapod and worked five days a week. Without school sports, I have been able to continue working for Peapod since school started. Even though team sports are postponed, I am able to play a lot of football and lacrosse with friends. This helps me get out energy after the in person school days,” said Ryan.

Students are happy not to be sitting in front of a computer all day, every day. Having the best of both worlds, in-person and virtual, during an unprecedented year has provided a welcoming sense of normalcy.🔳