Photo courtesy of Nick Carneiro
Change is a common theme this year to which WJ students and people around the world are growing accustomed. Whether it be from quarantining in a pandemic, marching in the streets, campaigning in political events or learning in online school, 2020 has altered the lives of millions. This year has entailed many major events that capture everyone’s attention, but one change that is not being talked about is the friendships between students at WJ – a topic that is not as grandiose as the Black Lives Matter movement, the upcoming Presidential election, or the Covid-19 pandemic – but is still is very relevant.
Friendships are a key element of students’ high school experience. Students hang out, study, have fun and basically do everything with their friends. Because students rely so heavily on their friends to maintain their mental health, online school has intensified the challenging mental health situations in which many students find themselves.
Freshman Soliana Paul feels like keeping up with her friends is becoming a chore.
“I don’t talk to them as often, it’s harder to keep the same friendship since we rarely see each other anymore,” Paul said.
This is a common theme among many students who are becoming more isolated from their group of friends. The main way for students to reconnect is over their phone, tablet or computer. These online interactions are not enough to fill the massive void of not seeing your friends every day of the week.
Sophomore Sanir Byanjankar has also had to deal with the challenges of Covid-19 and how it has impacted his friendships.
“My friends could have changed and we might be completely different people. This could lead to us drifting apart,” Byanjankar said.
Another key element of any relationship is trust. Friends trust each other to look out for and to do what’s best for one another. During a pandemic, if students want to see their friends safely, they have to put all their trust in each other to know that they will be safe seeing one another.
“I’ve had to rely more on technology to stay in touch. Also, I have to put a lot of trust into friends if we want to see each other in person,” sophomore Lila Cohen said.
Amid all of this negativity there are still some positives this year. Some WJ students have decided to socially bubble with their friends. A social bubble is when a group of people quarantine together and only see each other. While students will not be able to see all of their friends now, they will be able to become a lot closer with the friends within their bubble.
Cohen followed up by talking about how the few friends she has seen over the quarantine have become much closer to her.
“Since I’ve only been allowed to see a few in person I’ve become way closer with them as opposed to a larger group that I have to maintain friendships with online,” Cohen said.
This year has been a challenge for all of the WJ student body and administration for many reasons, such as the shift to online schooling and having the proper amount of equipment for WJ students; however, WJ students have had gone through a lot of change through this past year and the friendships they’ve created will have been forever changed.