EDITORIAL: Why I’m Not Going Back to School

Jacob Grindstaff, Opinion Editor

It has been 317 days since I last attended school physically.

Well… 318, since I didn’t go to school on Mar. 13.

Much has happened over these past 318 days: a pandemic, an election, an impeachment, the end of “Keeping up With the Kardashians”… the list goes on. Somewhere in this list lies the beginning of my senior year, as well. 

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2021 has endured an incredibly unique senior year experience that only the class of 2020 can even partially relate to.

The beginning of senior year, a time when all students had to attend their classes online, had many desperate to go back to the days where school happened in a physical environment; I was no exception.

I felt excited about the prospect of possibly being in school physically; I did not think this pandemic would ever take more than a year to completely disappear. Then, reality set in.

Cases were on the rise again. In my mind, this meant the complete removal of a chance to return to school physically. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the district offered the option to return to school physically.

Personally, it made little sense for me to return right away. I wanted to see how the physical schooling experience would play out for others before I took the chance. This, however, meant I had to completely modify my schedule to be My School Online-compatible, as over the summer, I had planned my schedule assuming I would be physical.

Although the week of the schedule change felt a bit hectic, overall, I soon adapted to the change.

In the meantime, the majority of my friends remained MSO or switched back to MSO due to the current physical model simply not working for them.

For myself, I realized MSO served as the best fit for me. Living over 20 miles away from Miami Palmetto Senior High School, the daily 4:50 a.m. wake up alarm served as something I always dreaded, and I always had much difficulty getting enough sleep.

However, more importantly, as a member of a multi-generational household, my family and I felt much more comfortable with my brother and I doing school from home. Although our school, along with many others across the country, are working hard to ensure a safe physical schooling space for all students, this felt like the safest choice for me. The risk, for me, did not seem worth it.

So here I am, five months later, still learning online. However, life remains unpredictable  so who knows how the future may impact my decision to remain virtual. In the time being, I have learned to feel okay with that.