Senior Brooklyn Rochow grapples with the reality of navigating the world on her own.

High school students are experiencing all the same issues as generations before, but amplified. Students still worry about the same things their parents did: maintaining good grades, staying focused, thinking about college and balancing school with other priorities.

The only difference is that it has been over 600 days since the last normal day of school for most students. Students now have to carry the added weight of a global pandemic blurring the future they had planned, while still dealing with the average issues of high school. The balance of home, school, relationships, sports and mental health is entirely thrown off.

Freshmen are entering high school unsure and looking up to upperclassmen for leadership and guidance that isn’t there. Upperclassmen have lost the time and experience needed to allow them to be those leaders again, all while still trying to figure out their future.

The emotional and mental exhaustion of being a student in a pandemic is something that no one can give advice on. This concern is one issue parents, teachers and mentors have no experience with. The unknowns of being a teenager combined with the unknowns of life leave young adults stunted.