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A Year Later: Baltimore Student’s Reflection on the ’20-’21 School Year – Kyia Williamson, Ben Franklin High School

In Spring 2020, the Fund asked City Schools students, teachers, and principals to share their experience of the shift to remote learning at the onset of the pandemic. A year later, the Fund has followed up with the same individuals for their perspective on what the 2020-2021 school year has been like. In our first blog post of this series, Kyia Williamson, a Ben Franklin High School Senior, reflects on her final school year and the challenges of maintaining work-life balance. You can read her essay from May 2020 here.

Within the last nine months, things have been pretty hectic for me. As I am a senior about to graduate in a month, transitioning into a university this fall. As I have gotten deeper into the college process it has become quite overwhelming. From narrowing down colleges to receiving financial aid packages, staying up-to-date with college emails, and tons of other things. As a senior, I have to finish off strong! Continuing to stay up-to-date with my classes is a must for me. There have been times I have taken long breaks from classwork due to stress and the workload would increase. The majority of the time I don’t take mental breaks so I’m more prone to mental burnout. 

I have been told multiple times that I need to take breaks because I am so stressed out trying to pass my classes. I push through the exhaustion because I just don’t like knowing I have assignments that need to be done and I’m not doing them. Education is very important to me and I know that colleges look at grades to determine certain things like if you are eligible for honors housing. Plus, I know that hard work pays off in the end.

Another situation I’ve been dealing with during the past nine months is whether I really wanted to do track and field this year. I love running, I did indoor track when I was a junior. I even raced people back in middle school just for fun. I was looking forward to outdoor track this year then that privilege got taken away from me as Fall sports were canceled due to COVID. With Spring sports starting back up, I had the opportunity to do outdoor track like I wanted. However, I was too indecisive as I was trying to fit a lot of things in my schedule like driving school and working. 

Unfortunately, I had to make a sacrifice from the list of the things that I wanted to do in order to fit my schedule. So I made the choice not to do track and field this year for my last year of high school. But I’m comforted by the fact that I will once I get into college. I will run for the university- where I have also decided to major in psychology and minor in theology.

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