The COVID Effect: How was the Class of 2022 impacted?


Courtesy of Maile LaPenna

AHS graduates throw their caps in celebration.

Everyone remembers the day the world was shut down by COVID. Businesses closed their doors, ski mountains closed, but nothing was more affected by COVID than schools. The senior class of 2022 graduating from Aspen High School know the effects of COVID better than anyone. The day COVID shut the world down they were four months from finishing their sophomore year. When these students should have been taking finals in school, going to prom, and watching the class of 2020 graduate, they were forced to stay at home and finish the year online.

The pandemic imposed challenges on all aspects of high school, academics and social activities were majorly impacted. Academically, the IB program, one of the many unique educational opportunities available at AHS, saw the pandemic as a huge setback and the program was forced to cut back due to uncertainty within the pandemic. Papers and tests were taken out of the curriculum, notes were allowed on final exams, mayhem erupted. Many members of the class of 2022 such as Kayla Tehrani, witness the heavy effects of COVID on the diploma program.

“I think that IB exams and just IB in general is something that we missed out on heavily. Although there were less tests for us as some of them were taken out. We were ill prepared for the tests as we did not have all the material we needed or we just didn’t have time to really delve into it and that caused some issues for the exams,¨ Tehrani said.

Terhani believes that academically seniors fell behind, they weren’t able to effectively learn material and this resulted in poor class grades and did not prepare them for IB exams. The changes in the IB program, although meant to help in the end, did not contribute to the success of students at Aspen High School. Students’ mindsets also changed during online schooling. Students were suddenly able to take tests, quizzes, and finals with the notes they were taking during class periods. Students began to rely on their notes during testing and therefore did not study. COVID severely affected the academic side of high school for the class of 2022. But academics were not the only thing impacted, social life of students was also impacted by the pandemic.

¨I think that we also missed out on quite a few social events like prom, homecoming, sports games, pep rallys, and other gatherings in general, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. I think that this also limited us in meeting kids from other grades as we were just seeing the people we had classes with or were already friends with,¨ Tehrani said.

COVID led to heavy division between grades, friendships with both older and younger students were diminished for the class of 2022. Social skills were lost because of these lost interactions between grades and not only did COVID impact this for seniors but it also made it hard for other students at Aspen. Due to the significance of these impacts on academic and social aspects of high school, the class of 2022 is not ready for grueling college life. The hard deadlines, closed note exams, awkwardness at social gatherings will surely give these students a wake up call to what school is really like.

¨I think that this will affect us in college as we have to figure out a new environment when we are just coming out of a situation where all we knew was our computers and our rooms. I don’t think we are truly ready for college because of this, and I think this will be a hard adjustment for all of us getting used to something we have never experienced,¨ Terhani said.