End of the School Year Reflection


Gelila Zeray, Writer

2020 was an unprecedented year for many of us. The ups and downs have made us stronger and for others, it made them realize their weaknesses. Underclassmen and upperclassmen alike long for the day they get to visit their campus, whether it’s for the first time or for their last. 

On May 5th, 2021, Ms. Morris, the head of the Newspaper Club, posted the End-of-the-School-Year Reflection Survey. The form allowed HMSA’s pupils to share the hardships they’ve faced during the COVID-19 Pandemic. From a junior disappointed with hybrid-learning to a senior struggling with senioritis, their responses resonate with how we’ve all been personally and academically affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

An 11th grader had mixed emotions on her translation from online learning to hybrid learning.


Survey Question 5.): “If you are now transitioning into hybrid-learning then, how do you feel about hybrid-learning? Is it better than distance learning or not? Does it resemble in-person learning or not?”

“It’s been more than a year, I guess I’m used to waking up 10 minutes before school starts while wearing my pajamas. Though I did give a thought about hybrid learning then I realized that whether I go to school or stay home, I need to attend the zoom class no matter what, and also, I can’t hang out with my friends during lunch. Of course, you have to wear a mask and keep 6 feet apart but it still doesn’t change anything” answered the junior.


After I noted Rhea’s thoughts on returning to in-person schooling, I knew that a follow-up interview was needed. Rhea agreed, and her answers surprised me. 


During the 10-15 minute interview, I asked her the following questions: 

Gelila: “Most students of all grades have gotten used to rolling out of bed in their pajamas or eating breakfast right when their online classes start. With your disappointment towards the hybrid-learning model at HMSA, do you feel like you miss that cycle of online learning instead? Are you looking forward to fully returning to in-person learning next school year?”

Rhea: “It’s kind of mixed actually. I mean, I like staying at home. I like eating food anytime I want based on my schedule but, I do miss going to school. I miss chatting with my friends and hanging out with them during lunch. It’s a mixed feeling but it’s leaning towards ‘I want to go to school for social interactions’ which I miss a lot. So, I guess I would like to go to school but, I wouldn’t go for a hybrid-I mean, I’m still doing online school”

Gelila: “What do you feel is the worst part about online learning?”

Rhea: “That’s a very good question. I procrastinated more, like how I procrastinated throughout my whole life. Since online learning started, I’ve been procrastinating much more. I’ve tried to set reminders on my phone to do my work but, it just makes me distracted and I go onto social media. Being in one room, in one place, and in one chair can be very sad”

Gelila: “What do you say to those who aren’t too hopeful about going back to in-person schooling for the upcoming school year? Any specific tips to share for those who haven’t even met their classmates due to the pandemic?”

Rhea: I’m sure it would be very awkward especially for freshmen who haven’t seen each other. I would say to talk to each other even if it’ll be awkward. I mean, that’s how life is. When I was a freshman it was difficult for me to talk to people but eventually, I did find some friends. Just enjoy life. Go off with the friends you have and spend time with people, that’s what life is all about.”


It seemed her expectations of hybrid learning weren’t met, and neither was anyone else’s. Rhea was disappointed that after a year of the pandemic, she came to realize that the hybrid-learning model was similar to the online-learning one. She still couldn’t hang out with her friends, she still had to log onto Zoom for her classes while in person and stay 6-feet apart from everyone she cared about in the HMSA community.

Some say that your weaknesses will be your downfall but, when this 9th grader realized what her weaknesses were, they became her strengths.


Survey Question 3.): “What changes have occurred in your life throughout quarantine?”

“Some changes that occurred in my life throughout quarantine are my work habits and role in my personal responsibilities. In terms of my work habits, I’ve been working more under pressure and not as on time as I should. On the other hand, I’ve noticed that I haven’t taken great care of myself and I’ve felt as if I don’t know how to manage my life and time” said Kimora.


Survey Question 9.): “What are your hopes, dreams, and or goals for 2022?”

“I truly don’t have many hopes, dreams, or goals for 2022, but something I would like to focus on more is my spiritual life, my diet, my health, and would really like to get myself in a better set of habits. These are all progressions I have been trying to strive towards for some time, but like 2020-21 has shown us; you never know what tomorrow will be like. With that knowledge, I will play the year by ear with my goals in mind” the freshmen added.


Just like everyone else last year, Kimora has gone through some difficult seasons. Though, unlike most people, she took advantage of her crises. She recognized her weaknesses and made them her strengths. With her family’s encouragement, she is now reaching for self-growth and has begun to understand that these experiences can bring important life lessons. You won’t know what tomorrow will be like or if there will even be a tomorrow, that’s why it’s important to be grateful for those around you and do your best every day as if it’s your last. 

Angel Quibrera, a 12th grader couldn’t agree more with Kimora.


Survey Question 8.): “If you could have one do-over, what would you redo throughout 2020-21?”

“To not let senioritis get to me” responded Angel Quibrera.


Angel Quibrera asked to be interviewed and so I agreed with the hopes of his experiences relating to all of our HMSA seniors, who have to say farewell to their friends and teachers with masks over their grime smiles.


During the 10-15 minute interview, I asked him the following questions:

Gelila: “Could you talk more about your answer to question 8.) in the End-of-the-School-Year Reflection Survey? Where you discussed how senioritis could be affecting you?”

Angel Quibrera: “You know, throughout the entirety of high school you’re always going to hear a lot about senioritis and how it affects some seniors. During the 2nd Semester, after seniors have been accepted into colleges-they don’t feel the need to keep doing their work. It’s important to keep those grades up and keep trying because even if you got accepted, they’ll ask for your grades again, for your final transcript. So, be on top of your stuff, make sure you’re still checking on yourself, and have your hours done. That way, you’ll be prepared for when you graduate. Because you don’t want to come out of high school and, after you’ve messed up, they hold your diploma.”

Gelila: “So, how has this been personally affecting you?”

Angel Quibrera: “It’s been affecting me because during the entire 2nd semester, I’ve been procrastinating and we only have two weeks of school left. So, I’m trying to fix all of that”

  Gelila: “I can’t imagine how it must be for anyone dealing with senioritis on top of a pandemic. Some students are struggling just like you. According to the form’s responses, many of them have begun to procrastinate and, their work habits have fallen apart. What do you say to those who are struggling right now?“

Angel Quibrera: “If you’re struggling right now, just remember that you’re not the only one who’s sitting at home all day by your computer trying to get work done. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help, go attend any available intervention hours or go to some sort of tutoring if it needed so this won’t hurt you in the future”

Gelila: “Finally, as for your advice to the younger class, have you found out what you will be doing in college? What’s your motivation to keep you striving for the remainder of this school year and into your dream college? Even with senioritis?”

Angel Quibrera: “Yes, I was fortunate enough to get into a good college and I have pretty low expectations for myself. I would say…don’t have low expectations for yourself because you would be pretty surprised of what you can actually accomplish. Just keep going forward and know that as a freshman of HMSA, you have two years left and it can get pretty stressful so just make sure to do your best during your junior year since its important and take school seriously since it will benefit you in the future”

Gelila: “Is there anything else you’d like to add?”

Angel Quibrera: “Yes, do your volunteer hours early!”


Angel Quibrera, just like most people, has fallen out of their regular work habits due to the pandemic. He is now realizing how his mistakes have negatively affected his academic life. He is now learning from them for a better start into his college career and so should we. No matter what mistakes we’ve made throughout this pandemic, we can always try again.

The End of the School Year Reflection Survey has told me so much about the students of HMSA. I saw many trends in people’s responses. Students longing for the day they get back to their campus, dealing with procrastination, seeing their loved ones pass due to the coronavirus, and some just wishing they could spend some time away from their family after a year at home with them.

Reading the form’s responses made me realize that I’m not alone and neither is anyone else. During the pandemic, I faced many hardships with online learning, family, and friends, as well as within my personal development. Just like most people, I felt hopeless in my situation but, if everyone else is dealing with these issues then we can all overcome them.