Welcome Back Cougars! A Look at Monty’s First Month Back at School

by Ishani Ghosh ’23

Source: Ishani Ghosh ’23

Published Oct. 16th, 2021

On September 10th, 2021, the students of Montgomery Township came streaming through the doors of MHS, returning after 16 grueling months of hybrid learning. After 8 days of exciting reunions with friends, brand new protocols, and simply getting back into the swing of things, many are noticing some differences. 

For one, many new protocols have been introduced to the lives of MHS students. From social distancing rules to constantly wearing masks, much has changed since they were last in the building. Saatvik Kabra ‘23 explained that, “Sitting in classes is different for me; having peers next to me is different.”  For many students, the physical layout of classrooms themselves has changed. While students were used to seeing little pods of 2-3 desks together, they are now seeing desks in traditional columns and rows.

In terms of sports, Saatvik, a varsity athlete, also explained that since school started, his schedule has changed quite a bit.  He said that he’s “…lost time..” He explained that he has to wake up earlier for school to catch the bus, spend a whole day at school, and then have practices after school, after which he can finally start his homework. Similarly, Hannah Vardeman ‘22 explained that “This year there seems to be so much less time to do things. Between XC and a full day of school, in addition to the transition times between the two, it seems like there is less time in the day.”

Other students agreed with the fact that virtual learning was easier in terms of time management, however the transition itself between virtual and in-person was relatively smooth. Moksh Desai ‘24 said that, “While I did feel virtual school was easier in terms of work and test spacing, I had no problem shifting back into in-person school.” 

Many students also expressed that their main concern with the return to MHS was lunch. “I would really prefer it if lunches were split by grade rather than by period,” Hannah said. Saatvik explained that “Lunch is annoying. With a group of six, you can’t even sit next to each other.”  As of now, during lunch, students are limited to sitting with only 3-4 of their classmates per table.

However, despite the little inconsistencies that students noticed;  almost every student conveyed that they were very happy to be back. Saatvik said that he was “excited to see people I hadn’t seen in a while. Some people grew in height.” Moksh explained that “I feel like I value my friends more than ever since many of my friends and I were not able to meet up. Every day I see new and old friends in the hallways, and I feel happy to know I am amongst friends.” As for the seniors in the school, Hannah said that “as a senior, being back in the building is a huge relief. I was really worried that I would miss out on some of the typical senior year experiences, but it feels like I might actually have those opportunities this year.”

Much has changed since MHS students were all in the same building together, and there’s no guarantee that more won’t change. Nonetheless, MHS greets its students with open arms: Welcome Back Cougars!