Student activities and extracurriculars evolve through pandemic

Photo by Lesly Fernandez

By: Isabella Chamberland (Senn HS Senior), Feyiteniola Falodun (Senn HS Sophomore), Lesly Fernandez (Senn HS Junior)

Across the country, high school students are disappointed about their sports clubs and extracurricular activities being cancelled. Some students are more active in their studies while some are finding new interests and developing their skills. We take an in-depth look at high school students in Chicago at Senn HS and Sullivan HS, and how students are coping with that reality.

As a collective between Senn and Sullivan, we spent a few days interviewing our peers to gain introspective regarding individual experience dealing with current virtual modifications. Students learned that they are not alone in this situation, after hearing responses some students realized that they are interconnected. Through the difficulties and challenges that students face every day we still find the joy in small things, through relationships we have and the new hobbies we are experiencing now. 

Here are some highlights from the peer interviews: 

Isabella Chamberland (Senior Senn High School): Interviewed Favour Mamudu, Junior Sullivan High School

Favour Mamudu is a Junior at Sullivan High School currently experiencing what life is like as a virtual learner.  Her days used to be filled with basketball practices and excitement for her upcoming softball season, but now those moments have been taken away. 

Instead of spending time with her basketball team, she is forced to stay inside with schoolwork as her main activity.  Although this phase of virtual learning has left Favour feeling disconnected to her community, she’s turned to music to find joy and alleviate stress.

Isabella Chamberland: Is there a thing a miss outside of your home, like an event?

Favour Mamudu: I miss basketball, and I was supposed to  play in softball sophomore year but because of COVID I couldn’t. I miss going out and also seeing college to see what they look like.

Chamberland: Did you find any music that you didn’t know before quarantine and what led you to discover these artists?

Mamudu: Yes, I discovered Frank Ocean, Doja Cat, The Neighborhood, Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Ray.  I like mixing my music…I was in a really bad place mentally.  So music helped me a lot with stress, and that’s how I discovered it.

Feyiteniola Falodun (Sophomore, Senn High School): Interviewed Eiman Shahzad, (Freshman Sullivan High School)

Eiman Shahzad was an eighth-grader at George B. Armstrong when the pandemic started. Her hopes of having graduation were shattered, similar to many others.

Her last middle school moments were cut short because of the deadly virus that is still spreading around, and because of that, she had to complete her final middle school year online. She is unable to do the things she loves to do like see her friends and go to the library and restaurants with them.

Like many others, Shahzad tried to learn something new during the quarantine, she tried to learn the ukulele and piano.

Feyiteniola Falodun: Did you learn anything new during the quarantine?

Eiman Shahzad:  Not really, I mean I tried learning piano and the ukulele and I’m still working on that but I just don’t have enough motivation to like practice every single day. 

Lesly Fernandez (Junior, Senn High School): Interviewed Hajir Hasan, Freshman Sullivan High School

Transitioning from middle school to high school can be rough as is, starting off at a new school with new people. With the pandemic going on, the transition has been even tougher. Hajir Hasan a freshman at Sullivan High School has had a rough time but is finding ways to cope with the situation. 

Unfortunately Hajir has not been able to experience key moments as a freshman. But while being stuck indoors has been finding ways to help her family. As well as take new found appreciation for her own health and her family. She has also been learning more about her interests.

Lesly Fernandez: What is something you learned during the pandemic?

Hajir Hasan: I learned new things in math and how to draw, I like a more realistic style.

Fernandez: What is one thing you didn’t think you’d do but ended up doing during the pandemic?

Hasan: I’ve been starting to learn more about my religion, I didn’t think I’d ever go into it. 

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