Embracing Each Other Once Again

Editorial Board

In our first issue of Volume 30, published last August, we wrote about missing the “little things” in school that we would normally take for granted. We longed for leisurely walks around campus during free periods, glances through the cafeteria snack bar with friends and meetings in our teachers’ offices during our spare time. What were once insignificant greetings, brief smiles and casual handshakes became coveted interactions between long-estranged community members. After the pandemic separated us from our peers for nearly an entire school year, we learned that a strong community is crucial to fostering a healthy learning environment.

Given the school’s newly implemented vaccine mandate and continuation of its indoor mask requirement, we finally have the opportunity to return to campus for a complete school year. Although eager to immerse ourselves in energizing social interaction, we must remember to cherish the small but meaningful moments we craved just one year ago. After all, we never know when negligence of health and safety guidelines can cause a spike in COVID-19 cases, sending us right back to Zoom.

With “PROMposals” on The Quad and HW Fanatics rallies on the bleachers to look forward to, it may become easy to overlook the day-to-day interactions like exchanging fist bumps on The Quad, making eye contact in class and sharing laughs during passing periods. Indeed, smiling at a classmate in the hallway or greeting a new teacher in the cafeteria is more important than it may seem; these moments strengthen the sense of community on campus.

Beginning a school year on campus will be new for everyone. Sophomores are transitioning from the Middle School to the Upper School, juniors are spending their second year in high school as the “new kids” on campus after spending most of their sophomore year online, seniors’ last year in high school is their first full year on the upper school campus and teachers are instructing their students entirely in-person again for the first time in over one year. As we all readjust to normalcy, every student should put in an effort to build up the sense of community that quarantining chipped away at by staying cheerful, feeling thankful and keeping things in perspective.

Zoom classes will fade into the past as we spend more time together on campus. However, we must continue to treasure the ordinary gestures between community members. As our workload increases and the seasons come and go, we at The Chronicle aim to unite our audience in a shared appreciation for the community that surrounds us. The teachers who eagerly support our education, the students who spend their weekends preparing for school events and the parents who read our newspaper are what make this school an environment rich with opportunity, growth and progress.

We must also remember to remain vigilant throughout the upcoming school year. Meaningful moments can still occur without sacrificing the health of the community we are working to cherish. COVID-19 has not disappeared, and although many of us are setting aside the hand sanitizer and gloves, the delta variant is still spreading across the nation.

Although this school year will provide experiences we lost in the previous one, we must remain actively dedicated to the safety of our community. It may take some time to acclimate to our surroundings this year, as bonding with peers we haven’t seen in months may be difficult. However, we are confident that the community will adjust to the necessary changes.

After all, if there is one thing this experience has taught us, it is that we are undoubtedly strong enough to persist through adversity together.