By Chris Everett
2020 has brought with it many new uncertainties.
For high school students who are used to homeschooling, the distance learning required during the global Covid-19 pandemic is likely not new. However, all high school students have experienced new challenges as a result of social distancing and the prospect of education’s future.
Perhaps you were hoping to apply to college next year and are now unsure if a physical campus experience will be possible. Maybe you have been homeschooling with other teens and have had to stay home on your own for the time being. Perhaps your parents have experienced economic hardships as a result of closing businesses and new protocols.
The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) wanted to find out just how much the “new normal” has been affecting high school and college students in the United States.
Student Voices of America Survey
As a result, NSHSS conducted the Student Voices of America Survey, in which students from all 50 states responded to questions about their outlook on the future of their education, job prospects, social lives, family, and nation.
The topics students responded to are as follows:
- Ability to achieve a college education
- Ability to graduate college on time, or as originally planned
- The health of my immediate family and friends
- My ability to secure a fulfilling job after college
- The impact of the economy on my family, friends, and community
- Our ability, as a nation, to overcome this crisis
- The ability to socialize in person with friends again by the end of August
- How long do you think it will take for things to return to normal after COVID-19?
- If your school continues e-learning next fall, how would that impact you?
Topics Inspiring Optimism
The survey showed that a vast majority (over 80%) of students who responded remain fairly optimistic about the health of their family and friends as well as their ability to achieve a college education, graduate on time, and secure a job.
Meanwhile, 68% of respondents said they are “very hopeful” or “pretty hopeful” about the nation’s ability to overcome the struggles related to Covid-19 and hope to socialize again in person by the end of August.
Students also noted that they have learned to enjoy new activities as a result of social distancing, like spending more time with family and trying new activities at home.
Areas of Uncertainty
However, some students are uncertain about the future of education, especially if they have to attend class online. As homeschooled students, you might have more experience with online learning; however, students who are used to attending school either in a school building or with other homeschooled students are having to make adjustments as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the survey, only about half (53%) of respondents said they would be okay to deal with e-learning, even though they prefer in-person classes. And 32% of students who responded said that they would rather not attend school at all if classes would be held online.
Meanwhile, over 40% of students who responded do not expect life to return to normal until 2021 or even 2022. Of course, even when the normalcy of life returns, the impacts of the pandemic are likely to be long-lasting.
What do you think?
After seeing the results of the Student Voices of America Survey, what are your thoughts on these questions? Do you agree or disagree with these students?
Maybe if you have high school friends who are worried about online learning, you can give them some tips from your own experience! Sometimes hearing what’s possible will help other students feel more comfortable with the changes they might have to endure as a result of socially distant learning.
Chris Everett is a content writer and marketing specialist for the NSHSS, an academic honor society committed to supporting young academics on their journey to college and beyond as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. Follow NSHSS on Twitter or Facebook for more information.