Sullivan High School Students Reflect on Reopening


By: Sullivan High School Students

CPS schools are open for in-person learning after nearly 18-months of quarantine. Sullivan students shared their feelings about going back to school while protecting their classmates by wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, washing their hands, and making sure they have fun while doing it.

Hajir Hasan (Sullivan Sophomore) interviewed Olamide Olaleye (Sullivan Senior)

Hajir Hasan: Which do you like better, in person learning or online learning?

Olamide Olaleye: To be sincere I like both the learning system ( in-person, online) because either way we are learning and growing in different aspects. In-person learning can be convenient because we have real conversations with real people face to face, which is so much better than talking to a human avatar for 7 hours straight. Online learning also has the advantage of the fact that it can be very convenient both mentally and physically because we as a student does things in our time and it doesn’t limit taking different classes. During online learning, I took two college classes and I was able to complete them because I could multi-task and take multiple classes at the same time. I know it might not be a good habit to be able to multitask sometimes but learning online made me apply and bring out that ability in me. 

Hasan: How has online learning affected how you communicate with others? 

Olaleye: Social interactions in in-person learning can lead to greater engagement, motivation, and that has helped me improve as a student. Social interaction in face-to-face learning allows me to share my ideas on a variety of topics with others. Personal discussions with other students usually motivates a deeper understanding of my connection with them and also provides interesting personal applications of the course concepts and theories.

Hasan: How are you performing in school now that we are in person?

Olaleye: I feel like now I can focus on what matters and central my focus on one thing. I can ask questions and get answers visually which really helps me. Whenever I need help from anyone in school I can just go to their office without making a big deal of going to office hours or meetings. It definitely has positive and negative sides but it is good to be back in person.

Olamide Olaleye (Sullivan Senior) interviewed Hajir Hasan (Sullivan Sophomore)

Hajir Hasan, a sophomore at Sullivan High School, expressed her true feelings and intentions regarding the reopening of schools and how the transition  from online learning to hands-on learning has transformed her as a person emotionally, physically and educationally. 

She said, ¨I like both in-person and online and I can’t choose because there are disadvantages and advantages to both. When I’m home, I’m comfortable and can wear whatever I want. But also it’s hard being on your computer all day without a break. When I’m at school, we can actually have real communication with people and it’s good to see your friends. But also students talking can be sometimes distracting especially when your friends are there.” 

 She talked about how online learning affected her connection with classmates but in-person learning made it better. 

“Now that we’re in person, I do feel like there’s better interaction between the students because when we are online, especially in the breakout room, it’s awkward and no one says anything”. 

Hajir also revealed how she is trying her best to protect herself and everyone around her from contracting the virus.

“Personally, to keep covid not spread and keep the school safe, I wear my mask all the time, clean the desks and chairs, wash/ sanitize my hands, try to stay in the same seat for covid tracing, try to social distance, and remind others to do the same.¨ 

Christian Carreto (Sullivan Freshman) interviewed Erin Adams (Sullivan Sophomore)

Erin Adams, a Sophomore at Sullivan High School, expressed that in-person learning really has opened her up again where she can be engaged with teachers and her fellow peers. She said, “ I think I’m doing better than online. I was tempted not to pay attention and not really interact well and ask questions because I had the choice to, so in person I think I gave myself more opportunities.”

She also wants to keep people safe and basically everyone in general. She has gotten very used to her mask during this pandemic. She said” It’s not to bad I really don’t notice it’s there sometimes it’s not any different from going outside or going to the store.¨

Erin also conveyed how online learning was easier than in-person, but she is still really enjoying in-person learning. “Online learning you can get away with a lot more sleeping, staying on your phone and in person your forced to interact”

Favour Mamudu (Sullivan Senior) interviewed Olamide Olaleye (Sullivan Senior)

Keeping your mask on regularly can be stressful sometimes and Olamide Olaleye expressed how she feels about it. She said “I’m not bothered by wearing masks because they protect me and those around me, and I don’t want to be a part of the reason why the COVID cases at my school are on the rise.” 

Big changes from online to in-person classes could be difficult for many students because not everyone likes or is used to change. Olamide Olaleye shared, “At first I was nervous coming back to school and then I came to school and it felt normal but the only difference was that we were allowed to work asynchronously (alone). I feel it is part of adapting and it would prepare me for the big transition at college.” 

When comparing online learning to in-person learning, she stated, “The good part of online learning was that I had time to take extra credit classes (college classes) the bad part was that my teachers weren’t physically there to help me. While the advantage of in-person learning is getting up in the morning and walking to school boosts my serotonin levels and motivates me to work harder. The disadvantage is that I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. and leave my bed, which I love, to walk to school.” The pandemic gave Olamide a chance to explore new things, but it is rivaled by the feeling of grumpiness when she has to leave bed early in the morning.

Public social interactions have been off limits due to the pandemic and that could be very challenging for extroverts. The pandemic made it impossible for people to strengthen their communication skills and to engage with others. Olamide Olaleye talked about her presumptions for in-person learning and how the pandemic has impacted her social interactions. 

”I expected it to be different, but it wasn’t that bad,” she said, “I feel like it increased my self-esteem a lot because I was afraid it would be really awkward for me to interact properly with people, but it actually turned out really nice.”

Feyisara Olaleye (Sullivan Sophomore) Interviewed Iqmat Adeyemi (Sullivan Junior)

Iqmat (Temi) Adeyemi is a junior in Sullivan high school and the pandemic has affected her in different ways. She learned some good things and bad things about herself and it helped her. She discovered that online learning is not her thing.

Feyisara Olaleye: Which do you like better, in person or online? Why?

Iqmat Adeyemi: That’s hard to answer, but I would say I like in-person better. I’m a visual learner and I can’t work through computers, the internet and stuff. I have to see the teacher teaching, I have to write stuff down to know what I’m doing, to know what I’m learning. I have to ask questions and stuff, but doing online learning I don’t really get the chance to do that because the teacher is behind the screen and you can’t really see what is going on. I feel like if I am at home doing my work, I would sleep off being lazy about class but if I am at school everyone is watching me and I cant really sleep off because it is motivational.

Olaleye: How do you feel about wearing a mask 7 hours a day? Does it bother you? How do you manage?

Adeyemi: Wearing a mask 7 hours a day is definitely frustrating, I do not like it, it is very irritating. Wearing a mask bothers me a lot. I have to go to the bathroom to get it off for like a couple minutes to breathe in and out because wearing a mask for that long you’re basically breathing in and out your own air and I don’t think it is sanitary at all if that makes sense. I noticed my skin breaking out a few times too and It was annoying. In conclusion, I’ll still keep wearing a mask instead of going back to online lessons because staying at home is really tiring and I get distracted so fast when I’m at home.

Olaleye: What are the advantages and disadvantages of in person and online learning?

Adeyemi: The advantages of in person learning is that you get to learn and learn because the teacher is always in front of you so you really get to learn and see what the teacher is doing right in front of you and the disadvantages is that you get tired of listening to the teacher talking and you´ll just feel like taking a break and you also get frustrated from your classmates talking and all that. The disadvantages of online learning is that you will get distracted easily. I’m home and on my bed I can easily fall asleep and I have the chance to leave the teacher talking to grab something to eat and that’s not okay because you want to hear when the teacher is  talking. The advantages is that you get to sleep and do whatever you have to do behind the camera and nobody can see you, you can even talk to your mum in class and you will be distracting no one cause you’re on mute.

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