By Kassie Simmons | March 15, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT – Updated March 15 at 7:34 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – While school districts work on plans for how schools will look moving forward, some students are busy documenting what they went through during the pandemic.
Pictures and quotes from memoirs line the SEA Tech High School lobby because as much we may want to forget the last year, the school knows how important it is to remember it as well.
In 2020, spring break marked the start of a classroom closure that lasted nearly a year for some students. That time away from friends and teachers has been difficult for kids of all ages.
“I’m very social,” said sophomore Layla Hanna. “It’s hard for me to stay home every day and not go out and meet somebody new. I like to go out and be adventurous and do different things, so it’s definitely hard for me to stay home.”
Now one year later, Layla Hanna and her classmates at SEA Tech High School are remembering the hardships of the pandemic with a new exhibition. It looks like something from a museum — with pictures and quotes detailing the experience — but it’s so much more than that for some students.
“They really expressed the emotional toll and the mental toll that it took on them,” said English teacher Christa Tompkins. “Some of them really started questioning who they are, how they express themselves, where they’re going to be in this world.”
But you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. That’s why teachers believe it’s so important to document the last year.
“Decades down the road, they’re going to share with their families, and kids are going to wonder what it was like,” said history teacher Eric Pfirman. “We haven’t really seen a situation like this since the Spanish flu in 1918. It’s a once in a century type of thing and it’s important that we take note.”
Despite the challenges, Hanna notes her new outlook on what the pandemic has meant to her.
“Everything, I think, we take for granted, and we were so used to everything,” said Hanna. “I think this is definitely going to make me appreciate things more.”
The showcase is in the SEA Tech High School lobby. If you want to see it for yourself, you can call the school to schedule a time to visit.
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