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Since the COVID-19 outbreak, students have been forced to stay at home and miss many significant school activities, including prom, graduation, pep rallies, fundraisers, football games, and class events. Students have been unable to socialize with their friends and relatives. As a result of the pandemic, for the entirety of the 2020-2021 school year, ASB and other clubs were forced to postpone their activities. Amanda Cawthorn, an ASB secretary, said “The possibility to create connections and meaningful relationships with people was lost.” This loss gave students less of a feeling of belonging and acceptance. Cawthorn says that “at ASB we all have different jobs that we work on as a community. We try small things like being kind and finding ways to make a person’s day better.” In the words of ASB President Tu-Minh Bui, these events “took away the chance to find new interests, and opportunity to make friends.” This year is about creating deeper, more meaningful relationships with people, after such a disconnect.
After a year and a half of isolation, ASB plans to create new ways to give students something to look forward to. According to Tu-Minh, they hope to bring back school events such as spirit week and homecoming, and “they wish to have mental health seminars, college workshops and more.” With these events, ASB aims to reconnect students and staff.
When students were learning online, they didn’t have the chance to socialize and find common interests with one another. There wasn’t an opportunity for involvement in events, or anything to look forward to. This caused a “lack of motivation for this year, and adjusting to a set schedule” says Tu-Minh. Now, ASB is here to help us readjust to “normal life.”
What ASB is trying to rebuild at Washington is a safe, welcoming environment. Students need something to bring them together, and ASB is working hard to accomplish this. But, trying to fit back into a normal life won’t be as simple as it sounds. “People still have fear and are very conscious of being near one another,” says Amanda Cawthorn. As a community, we still have to be careful of who we are next to and what we are doing, because the pandemic is still out there.
Although they face challenges such as limited capacities and no eating indoors, with ASB’s help we as a community strive for a year with new events, opportunities, and memories, where we all aim for a safer, better Washington High School.
Montana is a sophomore at Washington High School in Fremont, California, where she grew up. This is her first year at the Hatchet, and she is excited to cover arts and entertainment as well as local news. She likes baking, reading, and watching Netflix in her free time. Her favorite time of the year is always Christmas and Halloween. In the future Montana aspires to work in judicial or business law, where she can help people and think analytically.