Written by Chloe Gordon
When SOAR students watched the ball drop to welcome 2020 they could not predict that a worldwide pandemic would send them home to learn for the next year-and-a-half. Indeed, the Class of 2022, now seniors, were just sophomores when they switched from in-person learning to distance learning.
When students heard they would return to school for Fall 2021 they hoped that it meant life would return to normal. While the quarantine ended it did not mean an end to wearing masks or the constant worry about COVID-19.
“I expected too much to change for this year, but I do not think much will change next year. I think we are still going to be wearing masks because we have to continue to worry about the virus," a sophomore, Kathleen Steffy, said.
A return to normal is likely to take more time than initially thought. As recently as Nov. 28, the number of new cases in Los Angeles County was 575 for a total of 1,525, 486 to date. There were also 7 deaths and 565 current hospitalizations. And if you want to dine or visit a business in the city of Los Angeles be prepared to show proof of full vaccination. The city launched the SafePassLA ordinance today.
While the Antelope Valley does not plan a similar ordinance those at SOAR are still concerned about life, masks and COVID in 2022.
“Even though I am anxious for this new year, I still have high expectations. Next year, I will be a legal adult and experience being a full-time college student. It makes me a bit nervous since not only am I finally entering adulthood, but I am only used to being a part-time college student while attending SOAR. But I still think these experiences will be enjoyable. Besides my expectations, I do not expect much from the new year," senior Angie Chavez, added.
Likewise, fellow senior Mercedes Ellis said her only expectation is to maintain her business in the new year. She owns Art by MJ and produces custom paintings, digital art and drawings.
“My art is what I am focused on,” she said.
It will be interesting to see how SOAR students' perspectives will change next year, in 2022. It seems as if SOAR students have high expectations for things in their personal life, but not for the year 2022 in general. There are expectations that nothing will change in regards to restrictions due to the coronavirus. However, it is good that SOAR students remain optimistic despite unfortunate circumstances during the previous 2020 and 2021.