High School Socialization In Covid-19


Saniya Shah

With the rise of Covid-19, mask mandates, quarantining, and lockdowns have affected socialization in school life.

Due to Covid-19, socialization has become an increasingly difficult endeavor. During the lockdown last year, many students, especially those who stayed remote, could only socialize over text or call. While Covid-19 pushed all classes onto Zoom, it also eradicated the space in between classes to walk with friends or have a small conversation between desks.

Switching schools during this time would naturally prove more difficult than it already is. Atdhe Kastrati, a Wilton High School student who moved this summer, has reasons for the change.

“My dad told us we’re moving due to education, and learning, and I don’t know…going to high school during Covid, you don’t keep friends I guess,” Kastrati said.

However, new students who have joined the Wilton High School community have found their welcome to the school to be enthusiastic and friendly.

“I think I’m part of the student body at this point,” Hadi Nassr, a sophomore who moved to Wilton midway through the first quarter of this year said. “I know a lot of people now, and I’m good friends with people now.”

Many students who moved this year, with school once again completely in-person, seem to have experienced a full WHS welcome, introduced to the school by link leaders and Buon Amicos.

Anant Srinivasan, another sophomore who moved during the summer, spoke about his experience with the link leaders.

“Socially, it was very, very smooth,” Srinivasan said. “The link crew worked very well for me. Edwin from the link crew connected me. He introduced me to Shawn [his brother, a sophomore] and all of his friends.”

Kastrati had a similar experience.

“During the summer, I was out of the country, so I couldn’t meet the person that was supposed to show me around…but she was still helpful and with just her information I was able to find my way around the school.”

Those who moved during the lockdown last year experienced more trouble integrating into the school, including sophomore student Shourya Tyagi. 

“I think I’m making my way into the social circles; I think I’m definitely there in some of them. But I think I still have to go into some of the social circles and get to know people.”

— Shourya Tyagi

“Socially speaking, it was easier,” Tyagi said.

With peoples’ names labeled on Zoom, he did not have to ask for them.

A common thread through students who have moved to Wilton is difficulty in academic transition. Nassr said he enjoyed the challenge, but also that the change in rigor was difficult. Other students also struggled to assimilate to the rigor of classes they had not experienced or heard of before, such as Humanities, a combined freshman English and History honors course.

Summer work seemed to be an issue as well, as new students were sometimes unaware or unable to access it on time.

However, the overall positive experience has extended farther than Wilton High School. Katie O’Meara, a former Wilton student, moved to Nolensville High School in Nashville over the summer.

“I had never switched schools in completely different states before now,” O’Meara said. “The transition to Nolensville High School went better than I thought it would. It felt strange to be in a new place and with all these new people when I had made such strong connections with people in Wilton.”

She cited the fun environment and welcoming nature of the student body as aspects that eased her transition into the school.

“The teachers were lovely, the counselors met with me to schedule classes, and everyone is really kind,” O’Meara said. “There was even a new student orientation to meet other people who were new to NHS.”

While Wilton has quite successfully welcomed new students to the school, an orientation such as the one at Nolensville High School could benefit new students. It would work to bridge the lack of socialization due to masks and mandates. New students could meet other new students as well as older students to begin to situate themselves within the Wilton student body.

Wilton has stayed forthcoming to new students even through Covid-19, but this environment survives through care. The student body must maintain it to encourage and nurture a healthy community.