One year later, how has the pandemic changed you?

Gracie Smetana , Assistant Editor

On March 12, 2020, students left Milford High School at 2:03, not realizing it would be the last day they would physically attend school that year. Since that first initial quarantine, many people’s lives have changed due to safety guidelines in place during the last year, but this adversity has also led to personal growth. The pandemic allowed many to take time and reflect on their lives. Junior Kate Freed agreed “I feel like it changed so many people because it really caused people to stop and reflect on their lives and appreciate what’s around them and caused them to see how much of an effect they can have on other people”.

Looking back to last March, many students noticed that they have changed very much, whether it was their social lives or personality. Many students struggled not being able to see their friends and families. Freshman Riley Morgan states “It was really hard not being able to have that face to face interaction with anyone other than my immediate family”. Many students sympathized with Morgan because we don’t realize how important seeing people is until we can’t. Going to school everyday was a social output that all of us needed. After this past year students have learned to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life, even if it is as small as seeing you friends at lunch through the plastic partitions. Students across the building have had to learn and adapt to the pandemic controlling most parts of our lives. 

The United States has made a lot of progress since last March but some parts of our lives are still not back to normal. Junior Anna Malik agrees “to this day I feel I have to be wary when meeting up with people”. This is very true for most students around the building because they don’t want to expose family and loved ones to the virus. COVID-19 has lasted much longer than most people were expecting and was much more severe than many thought. Malik shared, “since I had never lived through a pandemic, I didn’t think this would happen.” However, junior Chloe Ogurek stated, “My dad is a total doomsday prepper, so we already had 50 cases of water, plus the ramen, face masks and canned food.” Regardless of what students thought back in March 2020, many can agree that the outcome was much harsher than expected. 

Many students have embraced the changes that COVID has brought, even if they aren’t positive. Ogurek agreed “I can think of a plethora of bad habits I am trying to break”. Overall, it’s been about a year since life was severely changed by COVID-19. Students’ social lives have changed distractically with not being able to see friends and family as frequently, as well as having a very different school year academic and extracurricular wise. With all of the changes that our world has experienced in the past year, students are trying to make the best of the crazy situation.

Many students were able to pick up many new hobbies while we were quarantined. Students focused on mental health more and things that made them happy. Freed said that she picked up reading more and realized how much she enjoyed it. Over the initial quartenine, she read The Alienist, the Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games, Pride and Prejudice, and the Culture of the Fear. She has enjoyed reading much more and has made it a part of her daily routine ever since. 

Overall, many students have really changed throughout the course of the year.  They have picked up many habits both good and bad and have adapted to these changes that have been put into place. We have had to cancel gatherings, vacations and weren’t able to see their friends and family which was very hard for many students. Students have learned to appreciate the little things in life and enjoy all of the small things that happen to us on a day to day basis. 

Reading was one of the hobbies that students picked up again with our initial quarantine last March(Photo courtesy of