Shani P., Staff Writer

High school was supposed to be four years packed with memories where lifetime friendships or relationships form. The late-night drives, silly schemes, and romantic dances conveyed in the movies made us look forward to growing up. However, reality hits us like a truck crossing an ocean of people, but no one waves or says good morning. Belonging was the ultimate prize, but now it seems to be estrangement. Distance opens the way for peace; loneliness is our only desire. Loneliness means freedom, leading a life free of judgment and retributions. We have been met with a grave problem when students find solitude a more agreeable companion than another person. When their peace no longer derives from hearing the rants and raves of friends and is instead found in self-reflection and staying inside their minds. 

Students prefer to no longer take risks with all the commotion and fear of getting involved in conflicts that may lead to detention, suspension, or potential arrests. They now realize that life is transitory and too valuable to be spent stuck in toxic loopholes or worrying about the opinion of a majority. The pandemic made friendships a more fragile concept and drama a more prevalent subject. During this chapter of life, students used this time to discover their true identities and hobbies free from peer pressure. This change in character forced students to drift apart from their usual crowd causing the school spirit to dissipate. The pandemic trapped everyone in their homes without the chance to communicate face-to-face, abrading once strong bonds. Regardless of their age or position, all lost what could have been a year full of learning, growth, and connectivity. Some chose the path of maturity, while others were lost in a perplexing maze without escape, using the time that could have been spent in self-growth stuck on social media. Instead of progressing, some even adopted childlike, ruthless behavior.  

An anonymous student noticed the Pangea that occurred at University High School over the covid lockdown. She stated, ¨My old group of friends had decided to FaceTime every day, but our conversations quickly dried up. That made me realize how little we had in common and that our ¨friendships¨ based on minuscule conversation and complaints about a class or drama were superficial. We cut off communication, and now, we don’t even look at each other in the hallways.¨ The only solution to this problem is for individuals to take the initiative to create a more welcoming environment at Uni by accepting differences instead of judging, smiling instead of glaring, and starting conversations instead of pushing the world away. But we don´t necessarily need to become friends with the whole school. Instead, we should focus on creating meaningful relationships and memories that will last a lifetime.