Kent welcomes back our remote students


Scarlett Chu, Editor

With travel opportunities halted by the pandemic during the 2020-21 school year, there were many students who spent the last 18 months learning remotely while others studied on campus. As we move into the new school year with a fully-vaccinated community, Kent welcomes back these remote students, who have strong feelings about the long-awaited reunion.

Sid Vijay ‘22 from Hong Kong/India describes the return to be surreal and is excited to finally see his friends after the long hiatus. “I’ve come back at a very important stage of my life, my senior year of high school,” he says, “and there’s nothing better than having my friends at my side while engaging in this very critical term.” 

Aside from missing the campus and her friends and teachers, Niki Hu ‘23 from China is eager to utilize Kent’s sports equipment and squash courts again, explaining how she had to drive an hour back and forth every time when she wanted to practice in her hometown. 

Jimmy Wu ‘23 from Taiwan said the arrival was overwhelming at first but is now excited to meet old and new friends again. “I expected people to have forgotten me or have changed a lot, but I’m glad they didn’t,” he says. “it’s just like back in freshman year, and now we can laugh at old memories together.”

All three students studied in a time zone 12 hours ahead of Kent last year, and shared a gladness to have a regular routine again. Wu talked about the need for better time management as he had more free time last year with the more lenient schedule. “I also didn’t get to fully interact with my classmates last year, so I’m trying my hardest this year to focus on class and fully participate,” he added. Hu commented about changing her personal routines upon return: “I used to stay up and wake up really late for classes, and it’s a little tough to wake up early for school now,” she laughed.

When asked about anything new that surprised them, most of them talked about the transition from being an underformer to upperclassmen with the two-year gap. “That transition in terms of rules and regulations was very interesting since I jumped from one stage to another,” Vijay says when talking about his new seniority here in Kent. Hu also talked about the changes in the new schedule, only having four blocks every day. 

All can agree that remote learning is a difficult period to navigate. “It was definitely a sacrifice for remote students as they couldn’t really connect to their peers,” Vijay comments, “and nothing is better than being with your friends and the school community again.” 

Just like Head of School Mr. Hirschfeld, who has described this year as his “second first year at Kent,” students have much to look forward to in this upcoming post-COVID school year.