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How Youth Feel: Back to school edition (hint, they feel pretty bad!)

“School for me is fully online and I feel very nervous that I won't be able to learn as well and not be able to get the help I need, and that it’ll show up in my GPA.” –Mars, 16

“I’m feeling weird about going back to school. I don’t like online school and I need face to face interactions for me to better understand the material I’m learning. It’s also weird right now because of the time difference. I’m moving to the east coast next week but some of my classes started this week and I have a 9 am ET class which means I have to be up at 6 am in Seattle. I’ve missed the first two classes because I accidentally slept through my alarm TWICE. It’s just hard to get up that early when I have been sleeping in until 10 or 11 everyday for the last 5 months.

School is pretty much all online for me. When I move into the dorms next week there will hopefully be more of a social aspect with school since I get to have a roommate and I can be in small socially distant gatherings of 15 or less people. But I’m scared people won’t follow the rules and have parties that cause a large COVID-19 outbreak that will get us all sent home. That being said, I know people are going to be immediately suspended if they do so maybe that will incentivize students to do what they’re supposed to do.” –Jackie, 19

“I feel pretty stressed with school starting up again. Not to mention, I feel like the past few months my brain has been in shut down mode of constant stressors so it’ll be a bit of work to get in the habit of doing things again. Although all my classes are online and I’ve taken online courses before, it’s a lot different when it comes to obtaining knowledge and understanding the topic.” –Alysha, 18

"I feel nervous , schools are severely underfunded as is and putting a pandemic on top of that ; I don’t think we’re going to keep up. I’m thinking of the students who are neurodivergent , or the students who already have a hard time in school.  The stress at home bundled with the newly added stress from school won’t end well. I just hope and pray that this past summer the right people have been putting in the work to figure out a plan that accommodates all students. Our current political climate and the funding for schools are saying the opposite...

Through the current radicalizing that is happening in our generation my typical thoughts of how I view school have changed, even more with the pandemic. When I think of school now I think of a shit show. Teachers, parents, students and administrators are all on different pages. No one knows what's going on. Universities and colleges aren’t sure of what's going to happen. It's all up to chance like the beginning of this pandemic. It's a scary time, Resources at schools are already scarce. School is a huge question mark right now for many.” –Anonymous, 19

“To be honest I have no idea what school will look like since SPS hasn’t released a schedule or really any information on what our classes will look like...Spring semester was kind of a mess so I’m hoping it’s better this time around especially since it could be long term. I KNOW I won’t be able to focus if we’re actually online 6 hours a day, and there are so many students where this kind of education is unrealistic for them and  they haven’t been given very many options for alternatives. I’m glad we’ve decided to go online rather than in person (especially seeing other schools across the nation do so and it be a disaster!!!). I'm hoping teachers and admin are considerate of all the different factors that students have in their lives and will be accommodating to these different needs, but also hope these teachers are being supported in online learning!!!” –Lauren, 17

“Currently a student at Cal-State Northridge, one of my main priorities was getting out of state for school. Getting to experience a bit more independence and responsibility, being able to dive into my career a bit more than I would here at home. But now my entire class schedule is online. Out-of-state tuition just isn't worth sitting at home and watching online lectures this semester. Only reason I'm still attending is so I can graduate as early as possible. But the experience overall just feels unjust, especially for the COA during this semester.” –Anonymous, 19

“At my rapidly gentrifying high school, I would often hear rhetoric from white students about voting, and the quirky 'political' kids were always talking about their favorite candidates. On social media regarding this election, I’m seeing the same thing. My white classmates posting 'settle for Biden,' yet they’re not the ones who ever felt the consequences of his leadership in the first place? Forgiving Biden for his crimes on low-income Black and Brown communities, shaming BIPOC for not voting, and spreading a common sentiment that voting will expel the level of bigotry and Trump-loving out of this country. liberalism through attacking BIPOC for not voting.

Whether voting is inaccessible, or one doesn’t feel inclined to vote someone who harmed their communities OVER AND OVER into office, white liberals need to direct their energy towards actually amplifying the needs of low-income Black and Brown people. Voting is a privilege that many have lost their lives fighting for, but stay in your lane and check yourself when you’re trying to shame a decision someone made under circumstances you’ll never experience. Make that make sense because these same people don’t do anything for marginalized communities!!! They post a black square on their Instagram and call it day, going back to preaching electoral politics and ignoring the needs of low-income Black and Brown communities. Seattle, especially SOUTH SEATTLE GENTRIFIERS, successfully embody the entity that is Seattle.” –Linda Phan, 17

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