Have Habits from the Pandemic Stuck with Students at Hills?


By Alyssa Tomporowski, Staff Writer

Three years ago in 2020, schools were shut down everywhere as the world switched to virtual learning. The Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, was spreading all over the world. Many people were staying home and doing work or school online. This global pandemic created many habits for many people, some may have taken up new hobbies or tried learning a new language. So how did students at Wayne Hills deal with the extra time they had? And more importantly, is there anything students have continued to do after the pandemic ended?

The freshmen may have had the worst luck with online school. For them, quarantine started when they were only in sixth grade. This means that the majority of freshmen at Hills missed most of middle school. Having to jump from the beginning of middle school to the end must’ve been an extremely difficult and socially confusing change. What did the freshman do during virtual learning? How did they handle being new to middle school and taken out for the next 2 years? A freshman student at Hills, Delaney LaRusso, has first-hand experience with this.

“I was in sixth grade when the pandemic started,” Larusso said, “I was at home with my two brothers and my mom, my mom was high risk so we didn’t go out as much. We started talking more during the pandemic and playing games every day, socially it was nice but everything else wasn’t really great.”

“The number of things I had to do went down, we weren’t really doing anything productive and it got us into the habit of not doing anything. I picked up being on my phone a lot, I’ve always picked my nails but it got a lot worse over quarantine because I wasn’t sitting in class so I wasn’t really paying attention. I wish I was more productive with my time, talked to my family more, and maybe exercised. I’m getting into taking care of myself, a big part of the pandemic was we were so tired and I was in my room the whole time and I didn’t really do anything so that’s a habit I’m trying to stop.”

Many Sophomores were falling into the same habits of slacking off with work. Students were sleeping during Google meets, turning in work late, or cheating on most of their work. However, for some students, that’s not the case. Destiny Vivero, a sophomore at Wayne Hills, had a completely different problem.

 “I was in seventh grade when the pandemic started. At first, I was excited about the few weeks off school and then I was like ‘oh this more serious than I thought’.”

“I was at home with my mom, my dad, and my brother, and it was us four. Around the first couple of months, we ended up getting a dog so we had a dog to take care of as well. My mom was more strict with, ‘oh you’re going to have to do this and that now, like you’re at home there’s more stuff to do, you have more time to do this and that,’ so I ended up doing a lot more chores. I had to start taking care of my dog more and I literally had just a lot of times when my mom told me to do anything that was productive. I’ve never done so many more productive things in my life than during the pandemic.”

“I have a really bad habit now of just not wanting to be with people, I just need alone time because I was alone for so long that it feels like I just need a break from people and it’s kinda hard now to socialize. I feel like I learned a lot more that moved me to liking marketing because I was watching so many people on TikTok posting marketing videos and all that, promoting ideas and it actually kinda intrigued me and led me to take the classes I took in the future.”

Vivero may have had an immense amount of productive things to do in quarantine, however, for most, it was not the same.

Samantha Pranzo, a sophomore, gives us the other perspective on quarantine. “I was in seventh grade, I only thought it was gonna be two weeks but it was a lot longer than that. I had regular procrastination habits but I already had that so I think it just got worse in quarantine. I have a bunch of hobbies, but I can’t stick to one. I drew more, I played piano, I do a bunch of things so I couldn’t really just stick to one thing.”

Pranzo displays a very common habit that many students at Hills also developed. However, some students picked up very similar, and equally detrimental, habits. Mason Sneed, a sophomore, indulges us on his experience during quarantine with an extreme amount of screentime.

“I’m already a generally introverted person so being at home wasn’t that big of an issue to me, it was more of a convenience because I got to wake up later for school. My first thought was, ‘that kinda sucks because I can’t see my friends,’ my second thought was, ‘I get to wake up later’.”

“I definitely developed a habit of too much screen time. During quarantine I built my computer, which was something that I used a lot mainly for school and also just for leisure activities like games and stuff like that. It kind of transferred after Covid had ended, I still use the computer a decent amount of the time, which I’m not very proud of but I wish I didn’t do it as much as I do if that makes sense. I learned how to cook over quarantine because before Covid I didn’t know how to cook at all I couldn’t even make toast without burning it.”

Some students had to help their parents during Covid. Seth Matacchiera, a sophomore, had an uncommon experience with extra work over quarantine.

“My science teacher said it was gonna be two weeks but I knew it was gonna be longer, and actually, I was right so. I was used to being able to do my work last minute, so it wasn’t a good habit. I started learning how to use computers and all that so it was alright. I had to help my dad work so I learned how to swab bacteria, I had to go to the hospitals and help.”

Youssef Mohamed, a senior at hills, gives us a unique perspective. We can’t help but wonder: what was it like being a freshman during the start of covid? Having your first year of high school be so different from the traditional experience must be a struggle. Mohamed can share his personal experience with quarantine.

“I was in freshman year. I was kinda happy it was like two weeks off of school that’s great and then it got longer and was like two years virtual, it was crazy. I was at home with my family of four. I started working out, and I still work out.”

Every student currently going to Hills had gone to school during Covid. Quarantine made each person develop different habits, some of which many students continue to struggle with. These habits can be blamed on Covid, virtual learning unknowingly pushing forwards a theme of procrastination across the nation. There seems to be a new pandemic in schools all across the country; a procrastination pandemic.