Students Share Opinions on the 100% Return to Campus


Students are now able to interact with their peers and teachers more easily while all being in the same classroom. Photo courtesy of Pete Zivkov.

Ella Hartmanis, A&L Editor

As 100% of students return to campus, there is a sense of excitement but also multiple anticipated changes. Waking up earlier, getting dressed for school and being on campus every week are among some of these adjustments.

Sophomore Caitlin Crocker has a 30-minute commute to school every morning. “I am worried about waking up an hour earlier because I have to get up and commute. It was nice to be able to roll out of bed into class,” Crocker said. To get more sleep, Crocker expects to make some changes to her daily schedule. “I will have to cut my time on social media in order to get enough sleep,” Crocker said. 

Junior Alexandre Acra shared a similar worry. “I think I’ll have to be more organized with my materials for school the night before rather than in the morning because I won’t have time to get everything together in the morning if I have to drive to school,” Acra said.

Despite these adjustments, students are excited to see all of their classmates on campus. “I think the most enjoyable thing about school is the small exchanges with people you don’t see outside of school, and I don’t get that online, and it’s not to the same extent when we are 50% [during hybrid learning]. There are so many people in my classes that are in different groups, and I am so excited to see them,” senior Lindsey Ball said. 

Another advantage of the 100% model is the ability to interact with all classmates rather than half of the class being on Zoom. “I’m most excited about having a normal classroom experience where it’s easier to communicate with teachers and classmates without interrupting the entire class,” Acra said.

Still, the increase in students on campus leads to more possible exposure to COVID-19. Thus far, students have struggled to maintain six feet from their classmates at all times, raising concerns for some students. “I’m worried about how the increase of people will make social distancing more difficult,” sophomore Chris Liao said. However, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure Menlo has implemented new rules including COVID-19 testing twice a week, unlike the weekly testing during hybrid. “It’s really relieving knowing that everyone has a POM tracer and is being tested frequently,” Liao said. 

Online school and hybrid learning have affected the relationships of students and their peers differently in each grade. For freshmen, this is the first time they are meeting some of their fellow classmates, like freshman Maddie Brown who is new to Menlo this year. “It is a little overwhelming to meet everyone and stuff like that even for the people who went to middle school. […] I feel like our class by this time in a normal year would be figured out and would have already gotten really close, but for ours [it’s] almost the opposite,” Brown said.