Missing old ways

Layla Healey, Staff Writer

I never thought my senior year would be controlled by COVID-19. Wearing masks to school, splitting up into A and B days, and only being with the second half of the alphabet that chose the hybrid learning experience is now my new normal. Oh, and also one-way hallways. 

I understand the immense need for health precautions. Even with them, we have still had a few cases requiring a lot of  people to quarantine even if they aren’t sick. I really do understand. But I dread walking through these one-way hallways. 

In my past three years of high school, we would anxiously wait at the door to insert ourselves into the terrible flow of traffic that was COVID-19-free hallways. It was terrible. I hated the feeling of other shoulders brushing up against mine or someone stepping on the back of my shoe. But I miss it now more than I ever thought I would. I long for that feeling of having to cram through the doorways at the perfect angle to fit through people. It was like a game, and I have memories of laughing with my friends when we would get stuck. 

With so little face-to-face contact, I know the amount of cases we attain will be much more limited than some places. I know, just like many other students do, that this is the safest way to prevent spreading the virus. That is ultimately the most important goal considering our current situation. The hallways on the bottom floor go left and the top goes right. It’s effective. But that makes it even harder to accept. 

It is so unnatural following the arrows directing us which way to go. Let’s also not forget the amount of times I’ve Had to walk the length of the school multiple times because I made a wrong turn. You would think that this being my final year I would know my way around better, but you would be thinking wrong. 

I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to even be face-to-face a couple days of the week. Some schools didn’t even get to choose an option, but we did. With that being said, there are some obvious things I miss: being able to see everyone smiling when they see their friends, sitting together at lunch and being with the entire student body. But not walking through crowded hallways struck me harder than I expected it to. I want to be able to go to school mask free and see all of my people and smile at my teachers and actually have them notice I am smiling. I want to have to rush to class at the one minute bell because I was standing in the commons talking and I want to bump into someone and have to apologize. 

I’ve always been told to appreciate the little things, but I never did take time to be thankful for our crowded hallways. Even though I didn’t anticipate to be craving them, I realize now how much I missed by not embracing them. It only makes me cross my fingers harder that the virus controlling our lives deals us a better set of playing cards so that things can go back to normal.