Face to Face: Losing freshman year vs. losing senior year

Allie Vasquez

Face-to-Face is a feature that allows two members of the Redwood community to debate with each other, argue or simply converse about a relevant issue or event. We provide the topic, and they do the rest. This month’s participants are freshman Will Copeland and senior Talitha Callan, discussing the topic of freshman and seniors losing their first vs. their final year at Redwood.


What do you think that you missed most about losing your first/final year at Redwood?

Will Copeland: I [missed] seeing everyone all at once. There were a lot of events, like going to sports games, and a bunch of different things that I missed out on [having for the first time]. Now that we have sports, I play basketball so I can do more stuff, but there’s a lot of things that I still can’t do, and that was a bummer to miss out on.

Talitha Callan: I missed a lot of things, but I mainly missed being with my friends and collaborating in classes, asking teachers questions, group projects, also just sitting outside and eating lunch together. I was really looking forward to homecoming, and my last homecoming football game, and a normal homecoming court that’s not on Zoom during our fifth period class. [I was looking forward to attending] all the sports games, spirit nights and just being really involved in the Redwood community. I am involved because I’m in leadership and senior class treasurer. It’s just a different level of involvement this year which is sad, but I’m making the most of it.


How do you think that losing this year affected you? Academically, socially, mentally?

WC: Academically [it] has been a little different… I’ve had to adapt more [to] different ways of learning. And then learning how to [learn] differently. Not being able to ask [questions] in person or see examples and learning how to use the internet a lot more was definitely harder.

TC: I used to be a very, very, very outgoing person. I would talk to everyone. And because of COVID-19, I lost connections with a lot of friends that I was making junior year. I don’t use social media that much. Coming back in person and being able to see more people, I have had to push myself to go talk to old friends and reconnect. Then mentally, it really hurt my mental health a lot because I was stuck inside, and I would just bake and go on walks and be with my mom. But not being able to talk to my friends and my teachers and be in person was really exhausting and…really drained me.


How do you think that losing your first/final year has affected your high school experience?


WC: The first time I was ever on campus for high school everyone was wearing masks and everyone was socially distanced, so that was really different. I feel like once we don’t have to wear masks it’s going to be [better], but this whole year has been kinda weird. Once we start next year I feel like it’s going to be a whole new thing. I’m only going to get three years of a high school experience, since this year was pretty different for a while.

TC: Senior year was the year I was looking forward to

the most out of all four years of high school. Looking back, when I was a freshman I was just constantly looking forward to senior year. The stress from not knowing where I’m going to college, and the application process, I was always looking forward to being rid of [it]. I’m just so bummed because of losing homecoming, prom, sports games, spirit nights, our leadership retreat, activities and field trips that would have gone on during [in-person] class.


Do you think that anything positive came out of it? 

WC: I feel like [being online] can prepare you for other stuff. There can be a lot more things that could come up, and being able to know how to use Zoom and know how to learn remotely might help in the future. I learned how to adapt to new ways of learning. I also figured out how to make my Zooms more effective [to help me learn better]. It was also nice being able to sleep in longer.

TC: In the end I had gotten a lot better mentally and found the best friends that I needed to help me get through it. [I started] appreciating school, appreciating my relationships with my friends and family. It made me really grateful, because I know that I was much more privileged than other families were in this situation. I’m grateful for the position I’m in right now because I would never be the person that I am today, because I grew so much [over quarantine].