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Student Perspective | What was school like for me?

How has school been for me?
I honestly don’t think there’s a possibility
For me to fully explain
What has been going on recently.

I’m struggling and praying to pass classes
That should strengthen my GPA, but
At a certain point, motivation stops
And all that’s left are piles of work that never go away.

I didn’t think this would last, I didn’t think this would stick
I never thought I’d have to wear a mask in order to not get sick.
My life was turned upside down by one day last year
And I repeatedly get asked if I’ve been
Here or here or here.

But I’m never asked how I am really feeling—emotionally.
Instead, it’s, “Have you been super dizzy lately?”
How do I say, “Yes, my stomach is constantly reeling in fear.”
Without them only hearing the word “yes?”

I’m fighting to stay positive in this pessimistic world
Where being positive is negative.

But when the dust settles and matters do start to improve
Will we be able to go back to how things were?
Or will I have to continue to say, “No, I don’t feel sick, sir.”

So, what was school like for me?
Read the poem again and maybe, this time, you’ll see.

Editor’s note: This piece was originally published in The Yearbook: Reflections on School During the COVID-19 Pandemic by the CMS Foundation. It has been reposted with permission.


Ahlivia is an 11th grade student at South Mecklenburg High School.