Photo used with permission from Mya Williams
“I went to school the first two weeks and then I switched to being a GOAL student just because I like being at Mercy, and I like the hybrid schedule, but I just felt more safe in my own home and I didn’t want to risk it anymore. So I just decided it would be best for me if I stayed at home. [Factors involved were] mostly just not feeling safe and my health issues because I have asthma. I also have sickle cell [anemia], so I have a compromised immune system; it would not be good if I were to get sick. And I just felt like this would be really good for me. It’s been going good being a GOAL student; I like it for the most part. But there are some challenges that come with being a GOAL student. As far as keeping in touch with people, it’s really hard. I keep in touch with people online, I might text my friends or FaceTime them, or even as far as teachers I get help with them outside of school with Zoom. But as far as meeting people in person or hanging out with people, I haven’t done that at all.
I would say two things have been the most difficult about being online. The first thing is missing being in class with your peers. I really enjoy, for example, my AP government class. I really like that class. I liked being in person, but now that I’m at home I feel kind of isolated from them. Also being a GOAL student, there’s a lack of motivation sometimes. I’m online all day and then when the school day ends I want to relax or do whatever, but I have homework to do, I have stuff to do, and it’s hard to get back into that when I’ve been online all day. So I feel like the motivation is lacking sometimes.
I’m still an HRC rep, I’m still in all the school activities that I was in before. Actually I still participate physically in some of those. For example, I just went up to school last week for a BASE meeting and it’s because when I go up for those clubs it’s only a few people, it’s not that big of a deal. But in school, the main concern for me is hallway traffic. So I still participate in all the activities that I’ve been in, so that’s good.
If someone’s concerned about their safety or they don’t feel safe at school, I would really recommend being a GOAL student, even though at times you can feel isolated; overall I really think it’s a positive thing. It just depends on the type of person you are, but it’s been really good for me and it’s calmed me down a lot because I would be really anxious in school, so it’s been good for me.”