I Never Thought I’d Say This, But…

Social distancing has created a new found sense of gratitude for everyday things we usually take for granted including school.



With the closure lasting the rest of the school year, NAI students wish they could go back to their once taken-for-granted school building.

Usually, waking up at the crack of dawn to embark on a seven hour day is not what all students look forward to. But, with recent events and having to practice social distancing, most students are wishing they could go back to the building they often take for granted.

You never know what you have until you don’t have it.

Many schools have converted to an online version of their regular classes in order to keep their students learning. While this may be what students wished for before COVID-19, staying home in order to complete their work at their own leisure, many are rethinking that wish.

To many students’ despair, North Allegheny has closed its building’s doors for the rest of the 19-20 school year. On March 13th, many students were still expecting and hoping that they would be able to say one last goodbye to their beloved teachers before the last day. As the weeks went on and the virus persisted, that expectation had vanished for there will be no more in person school days left this year.

While this may be what students wished for before COVID-19, staying home in order to complete their work at their own leisure, many are rethinking that wish.”

And something unexpected has arised from this circumstance.

This saddening and unfortunate turn of events has encouraged the newly found gratitude of school, a gratitude very little students possessed before. The eyes of numerous students across North Allegheny, and probably many other students from other school districts, have been opened to realize how lucky they truly were to have the opportunity to experience a school day.

I interviewed some NAI freshman and sophomores to relay their thoughts on their sense of gratitude:

When asked if she missed school and if she wished she could go back, Jess Daninhirsch, a NAI sophomore, said, “Yes! I really miss school. I mostly miss the people. I miss seeing my friends and teachers everyday. I even miss the learning environment. Though sometimes I didn’t want to be sitting in class, it’s sometimes easier than working from home. I really wish we could go back to school, even if just for a week. I can’t believe I’ll never go back to NAI as a student again. Our time got cut short; there’s so much left unfinished and unsaid.”

I never realized how much of a privilege it was to see my friends everyday until it was gone. Now without school, I know how much I took it for granted.”

— Marissa Granite, Sophomore

Ben Balbach, a NAI freshman, answered the question “On an average day, would you usually take school for granted?” by saying, “I definitely took school for granted. During a good chunk of the year, I asked my parents almost every week to let me take a sick day. I ended up going anyways, and looking back, I’m glad I did. Now, I don’t even have the choice.”

When asked if she wished she could spend one more day at NAI and if she usually took it for granted, Gena Chick, a sophomore, said, “Yes, I wish we would go back so I could see my friends and do the fun science experiments that we have been waiting all year to do. I also want to go back to continue playing my sports. There were definitely days where I would rather be at home than at school, but I still had fun at school as much as I didn’t like the work.”

Sophomore Anthony Durzo responded to the question “Do you miss school?” by saying, “I miss seeing my friends everyday and the teachers too. Especially because I won’t be going back to NAI and I’ll be going straight to NASH.”

Marissa Granite, a sophmore, shared her thoughts on these questions by saying, “I absolutely miss school. I never realized how much of a privilege it was to see my friends everyday until it was gone. Now without school, I know how much I took it for granted. I am glad that school is closed the rest of the year as it is necessary for these closures to happen to keep our community and nearby ones safe. I, and so is everyone else, am struggling without having a normal schedule, life, and my activities. But, it is the smartest and safest choice to not go back.”

Going into this, I don’t think I was really aware of the possibility that we would never go back this year. I wasn’t really prepared for that.”

— Julia Berger, Freshman

Freshman Lamees Subeir said, “I really miss school, specifically seeing my friends. I miss interacting with other people in person, and I also miss learning in person.”

With social distancing being enforced, our usual human contact is extremely limited, mostly just to our immediate family. All the students interviewed concluded they missed how school brought them the ability to see their friends and teachers everyday.

It is so easy to get so used to the common, everyday events that happen in life. School is for sure one of them. However, one positive of COVID-19 may be a humanity increase of gratitude for these everyday events. Will this horrible pandemic actually bring back an almost forgotten grateful feeling that so many have lost?

Students across the country are saying one phrase regarding their education: “I never thought I’d say this, but I miss school.” Education is a gift that commonly gets overlooked, unfortunately. Perhaps in the future, COVID-19 will serve as a reminder to young people that once they truly missed school, and maybe instead of complaining, they should enjoy the opportunity.

Many awaited the weekend: two days free of school. But now, many await a late August day when they can return to their once taken-for-granted school building to experience what they no longer have: an average school day.