New to campus but not to Archer: Students transition into on-campus learning

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Photo credit: Grace Doyle

Anaiya Asomugha and her sophomore friends each lunch outside of the the Diana Meehan academic center. “At first I was really scared,” Asomugha said about attending school in-person. “But I identify as an extrovert, so I didn’t have trouble reaching out to people and was really happy when they reached out too.”

By Grace Doyle, Sports Editor

As the 2021-2022 school year begins, students return to campus as a whole for the first time since March of 2020. During the last school year, many new Archer girls entered the community via Zoom due to COVID-19 preventing in-person learning. After over a year of online learning, these students — the entire 6th grade as well as many students from grades 7, 8, 9 and 10 — are learning their way around campus.

Sophomore Malia Apor started at Archer as a freshman during virtual learning with only the option to come back for part-time in-person learning at the end of last year. During her first week on campus, she had to navigate in-person
learning for the first time.

“You can’t really get a sense of your classes and Archer and the whole community while being online,” Apor said. “So I’m really happy to be back.”

Sophomore Anaiya Asomugha is also new to campus but not to Archer. After attending her first year of high school virtually, she is still finding her way through in-person high school.

“When I first came, I was like, ‘I still feel new.’ Not with the people but with the atmosphere,” Asomugha said. “People know who I am and they recognize me, but I feel like I don’t recognize the campus itself.”

Junior Chloe Terani came to Archer during her sophomore year where learning was on Zoom. She said was able to make some connections with her peers, but doesn’t yet feel entirely familiar with the community.

“It’s just a really strange feeling because I know everyone, but I don’t know everyone,” Terani said. “I’ve just kind of seen their faces. And I’ve seen what the classes look like; I just haven’t actually been in them.”

As students transition from virtual to in-person learning, Terani said in-person learning is more engaging compared to Zoom.

“I definitely feel a lot more engaged,” Terani said. “On Zoom, it was really easy to get distracted…In-person, I’m back to having to be focused.”

I’ve heard a lot of Archer girls who have just graduated or who are seniors say that Archer is their home. I feel like I can say that now. ”

— Anaiya Asomugha

While Apor noted the challenges of stepping onto campus for the first time, she also looked back on her experience making friends online.

“We [sophomore peers] became friends, even though some of us hadn’t even met each other before,” Apor said. “I think, looking back, that was really cool, that we were able to do that.”

As the first week of school wrapped up, students had a chance to reflect on their first in-person experience. After being on-campus, Asomugha highlighted the “home-like” qualities she feels at Archer.

“I’ve heard a lot of Archer girls who have just graduated or who are seniors say that Archer is their home,” Asomugha said. “I feel like I can say that now.”