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Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Dear Verrado: Garrett Drake

Garrett Drake

Dear Verrado,

When the lockdown first hit me, my family, and my friends back in March of 2020, I wasn’t prepared for the fact that I wouldn’t be doing anything school-related for the next five months.

To say coming to Verrado High School on a Chromebook at the beginning of the 2020/2021 school year was a rough start is putting it nicely. Paying attention was practically impossible for me because of three things: I was at home, my phone was right next to me, and there was no one to stop me from doing whatever because my parents did their best to avoid me during online classes.

So being constantly and consistently distracted was great up until the end of the first semester when my grades were mediocre and the school told everyone and their families that students would be coming back to school at the start of the second semester.

Now, to be honest, I was happy that we were going back to school. I hated online classes more than anything and physically in class was a much better experience. The only thing that sucked about going back to campus at the start of the second semester of my freshman year was the schedule.

Everyone was assigned to attend school on “A” or “B” days with the A-days being Monday and Thursday and the B-days being Tuesday and Friday, with Wednesday being a “day-off” for everyone though it was supposed to be a “catch-up” day for students who have fallen behind, but no one, as far as I know, used it for that.

Due to being constantly distracted during the first semester, I was left in the dark for half of my classes. The good half was Biology, Gym (called Personal Development for whatever reason), and my Honors English class mostly because those classes are either easy or were interesting during online classes.

The bad half was my AP Computer Science class (which was coding), Graphic Design, and Algebra. Algebra was there because I suck at math in general and online classes made it a thousand times harder, not being able to privately ask questions sucked but thankfully Algebra got just a tiny bit easier once we came back to campus physically. AP Computer Science and Graphic Design were difficult because I severely underestimated the skills needed to be efficient in those classes, most of it was having a good work ethic. Which I didn’t have since I was still fatigued from online classes.

Thankfully, and luckily, I passed all my classes for freshman year and was hoping that my sophomore year would be better and easier, but sadly, that wasn’t the case.

I somehow became worse in my sophomore year regarding how efficient I was at completing my work and whether it was done right or not. My mentality was at its weakest during this school year and barely passing my classes by the end of the school year didn’t make it much better, and on top of that the time someone brought an actual gun to school causing everyone to evacuate and go home early hit me with a lot of anxiety.

But knowing what I know now, I would attempt to do better because that school year did teach what I could and just could not do, like AP World History was not for me and I would just take normal World History instead, as well as not being afraid to ask for help.

The good news is, my junior year is when everything started to get better. I kept my head up high and signed up for classes I knew I could handle, aside from the occasional hiccup of there being a bit too much work to do from Creative Writing in the first semester and Psychology in the second semester, as well as having some blunders from tests taken in Forensic Science, my junior year was my best year at Verrado by a mile.

My senior year at Verrado was pretty lackluster, all things considered. It wasn’t miserable like my sophomore year and it wasn’t confusing like my freshman year, but it wasn’t a major improvement for me like my junior year was.

My senior year to me, felt like a “retirement” sort of school year. I honestly felt like this school year I didn’t have to try that hard, I just had to do what was needed and all will be well, and I was fine with that. My only problem was that that thinking gave me a mild case of senioritis which made me procrastinate too much and there was the looming threat of graduating and entering the real world, but thankfully after talking to some people I’ve gotten everything straightened out.

It makes me sad to say it, but I’m ready to leave Verrado High School in the next week or so, and my final piece of advice is, for one, to know your limits. Making things harder for yourself could potentially make things harder for others and it won’t do you any good in the long run.

Second, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no shame in needing help, and students don’t, and really shouldn’t, know everything. It’s a teacher’s, and a parent’s, job to help students so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when you need it.

Finally, third, keep your head up high. Getting a C, a D, or an F isn’t the end of the world. You could always study again and retake that test and just because you think you did abysmally on that assignment doesn’t mean the teacher is going to drop your grade from a B to an F, nor does it make you the worst student in the world.

In summary, just work hard and don’t be too hard on yourself and you’ll see yourself succeed and further down the line, you’ll be grateful you did that for yourself.



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