AWHS students find joy through COVID-19


April Economides

The Daraja Club returning from a hike taken while carrying buckets of water, representing how children in Kenya have to carry clean water to their homes.

On Mar. 13, 2020, schools across the U.S shut down due to COVID-19, uprooting students’ normal routines. With in-person school out of the question, AWHS students searched for activities to restore a sense of normalcy during an unpredictable time. Now, as AWHS begins a new school year, students reflect over the past year and examine what brought them joy during the pandemic.  

AWHS senior Sadie Leitz says that she found joy in creating. 

 “I turned my sadness into creativity and I found ways to cope, through music and art and cooking… I taught myself how to play guitar and I started writing music, and it was just very healing during that time,” Sadie said. 

Unlike the current seniors who had a normal freshman school year before COVID-19,  current juniors spent half of their freshman year and the majority of their sophomore year virtually. AWHS junior Audrey Reeb says that despite a disappointing high school experience, she found ways to distract herself by seeking new passions. 

“I joined the cross country team, joined the Daraja Club to meet people, and I got into reading,” Audrey said.

AWHS freshman Logan Burke had most of his eighth grade year online at White Hill Middle School. He kept busy by joining the school baseball team and biking with his friends.   

Logan feels that his freshman year is getting off to a “slow start.” He feels that there was no time to prepare for high school.  

AWHS sophomore Zoe Dombrosky describes her experience in high school as being confusing at first, but she feels hopeful for the school year to come. During the 2020-21 school year, Zoe struggled with not being able to see friends. She found comfort in watching old movies and re-learning how to play the guitar.

“I stayed social by calling my friends as much as I could, because you couldn’t really see anyone in person…” Zoe said.

Despite challenges brought on by COVID-19, AWHS students found activities to help them stay grounded and connected throughout the pandemic. With some COVID-19 regulations relaxing, many students are now able to return to their normal activities, as well as continuing with the new skills they acquired throughout COVID-19.