Hi, my name is Karli Schoolcraft. I am 16-years-old, in 11th grade at North Duplin Jr/Sr High School. COVID restrictions have caused a few issues in our high school as I’m sure it has in many others.

One issue that is bothersome is lunch. At our school we are not allowed to eat lunch in the cafeteria. We must all walk over to the elementary school — because we share the same lunch room — grab a takeout plate or wait with others, then walk back to our classrooms. From there we eat in the classroom, so if you are not in the same class as your friend, it can be pretty awkward — like eating alone, except with classmates you may or may not be close to.

We also get mask breaks during each class period. We pause class at our assigned time, go outside, walk around for a couple minutes, and then go back to class. There are positives and negatives with this rule. In my opinion a negative would be, the break disrupts the focus in the classroom. For example, if I’m in the middle of a math problem or at an interesting part in a book I’m reading, it can be a little bit of an inconvenience to go through a break. By the time we get back to the classroom I’ve lost my train of thought and often the momentum is not there.

Although it can be troublesome at times, as a positive it is nice to have a break throughout the day. We have not had those kinds of breaks since elementary school. Instead of working the entire time we are at school we get a couple of minutes to go outside and enjoy the fresh air and socialize.

Aside from COVID restrictions, I feel like our school has grown in its opportunities. This is our first year with a Drama Club since back when my mother was in school.

Our school is expanding its extracurricular options and growing in population as well. While we are considered a small school there is a larger student population than ever and some classes are crowded. There are large numbers coming from our North Duplin Elementary School so it is pretty packed in the middle school and the numbers are climbing in the high school as well. We have had two mobile classroom units added behind our science building.

Lastly, a trend going around our school right now is on Instagram. I’m not sure where this started but random people start Instagram accounts and anonymously post different things. For example, pictures of people “sleeping,” pictures of people with “bad posture,” it even gets as strange as pictures of people’s “shoes under bathroom stalls.” As high school students we want to have fun and make jokes, but some people might think it could be a little weird. That is understandable because if there was a picture of me “sleeping — or my shoes from under a bathroom stall” — splashed over Instagram I would be a little freaked out.

Luckily, I don’t think anyone finds themselves too offended by these random posts. With everything going on in the world, students need an outlet and I think others caught “sleeping” or “shoes shining from under a stall” are taking it light heartedly, or at least they should.

Karli Schoolcraft is an 11th grade student at North Duplin Jr. Sr. High School.