A Return to Normalcy: Why I’m Going Hybrid


Ben Townsend

An empty desk in a classroom at Wilde Lake.

The senior walk-in, senior night for sports, and senior breakfast are just a few of the events that many 12th graders have been anticipating since their freshman year. Little did I know back in 2017, when I was a freshman, that I would never be able to experience these memorable traditions due to COVID-19.

In less than a year, the Coronavirus has taken so much from me: immediate family members, high school sports, one last exciting year with my friends, and just a sense of normalcy. When Governor Larry Hogan announced that students would be given a chance to go back to school, I instantly knew that I was going to return, even if it meant a hybrid model.

The highlights of my school days pre-COVID were walking to class with my friends, informing them on the new things going on in my life, and joking around with teachers and peers. As a person that thrives off of connections with others, speaking to my classmates and teachers through a computer screen leaves me feeling depressed. 

Staying at home for 11 months has not only been hard on myself, but for many other students, as well. Learning through a screen is extremely challenging for me, and I never truly grasp any of the information that I am taught. Other students might need an escape from home, and school is the place for them to be able to get a break from their living situations. As stated by federal health officials, 

“Schools are an important source not just of education, but health and social services for children.” (NYTimes).

You may be thinking, “How will I know that I’ll truly be safe at school?” Well, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) officials say that the most available evidence shows that in-person teaching can be safe if precautions are not only taken in schools, but in the community, as well. 

I have seen firsthand that local businesses have done everything in their power to keep everyone in our community safe. These precautions may include anything from limiting the amount of customers in a store, to spacing out workout equipment at the gym, to making sure store-goers have masks on correctly before stepping into an establishment. 

As a senior heading off to college later on this year, I will step foot into a completely new environment. It’s likely that I’ll have to wear a mask and socially distance. If I was sent off to university this fall without going hybrid first, it would be around a year and a half since I’ve actually been in a physical school setting. Getting acclimated to the hybrid model at Wilde Lake would better prepare me for college. 

With the two group schedule that has been established limiting the amount of students in the school building, I know that I’ll feel safer. My father has also received his two doses of the vaccine, resulting in my family feeling safer about me returning to school. COVID-19 isn’t leaving our world anytime soon, and it’s best to become accustomed to life with it while we wait for all people to become vaccinated.