ErinElizabeth Purcell – Mustangs Ahead  

(LAKEWOOD RANCH FL) – The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Mustangs of all kinds at LRHS, but for some sophomores and juniors this year is a truly unique situation.

Despite being Mustangs for two years, many have never been on campus before now.

The current sophomore class of LRHS began their freshman year at the height of the pandemic and many were fully online students last year.

The LRHS juniors are not faring much better.  Many of them experienced only seven months on campus before quarantine caused the district to shut down.

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“Last year was honestly very weird. Being a sophomore after the pandemic is strange because we have done this before but, in a way, this is our first year of high school,” said sophomore Tess Lippincott.

The LRHS freshman share a similar opinion as their last full year of school was sixth grade.

“Starting LRHS has been an extremely overwhelming experience because we went straight from our first year at a new school as sixth graders, to our first day at a new school as freshman,” said freshman Zachary Komonlopen.

Students across the board have had a dramatically different high school experience due to the pandemic, whether it be through gap years, new campuses or their first true high school experiences.

English teacher Michael Wood, “Our goal for this year is normalcy. We are all hoping for the best and the outlook seems bright if we all remain cautious about our health and safety.”