Students adjust to the loss of extracurriculars

Aanika+Tiwary+raises+her+racket+as+she+prepares+to+swing+and+hit+the+ball+against+the+wall.

Aanika Tiwary

Aanika Tiwary raises her racket as she prepares to swing and hit the ball against the wall.

 

Students who are either planning to or have engaged in school-provided extracurriculars face numerous obstacles as most California school districts regulate the activities of clubs, sports, etc., to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since the pandemic reached the U.S. in spring, COVID-19 has interrupted much of the educational setting, forcing schools to go online. In several cities, as school facilities remain closed, so do opportunities for extracurricular programs.

Extracurriculars prompt students to interact with their community and develop social skills that can be applied later in life. Whether it be on a college or job application, having a background in aiding the community or getting involved reveals one’s character, thus incentivizing students to participate in their school sports or clubs. Amidst the pandemic, Carlmont has restricted the majority of the clubs’ opportunities to meet physically and has made sure to regulate the activities of their sports teams by limiting student congregation.

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“I definitely feel that I am closer to the friends I train with than I have ever been. We have made lots of good memories with each other, ” said Aanika Tiwary, a sophomore. ”

— Aanika Tiwary

“My extracurricular activities have not been canceled by COVID, but they have been greatly affected. In soccer practice, we have to refrain from having any contact with our teammates at all times, which affects it massively. We also have fewer practices a week as we can only have two teams per field,” said Euge Garcia, a freshman.

Implementing social distancing has been a priority for various sports as a result of the pandemic. Many of these sports are taking the initiative by setting up practices differently, and this occurs while clubs still try to achieve practices for the players. However, many disadvantages arise; social distancing limits teams to focus more on individual performance rather than team play and activities. Additionally, the ability to compete with other teams has been removed.

“Robotics has been hit pretty hard in many ways, and it was a lot harder to recruit members. During our training season, there is a lot that new members are taught in robotics, and a lot of it is physical fabrication, but all of that is hard to teach on zoom,” said Stephen Abbas, a senior.

Since students cannot physically attend their classes, several school-wide events, like the club fair, have been unable to take place. For freshmen, this would have been one of their first opportunities to meet club members  and leaders face-to-face and get a sense of what to expect.

On the latter side, club leaders have found it challenging to get their message out as quickly since students are not as readily aware of grade-level activities. Additionally, clubs that focus toward hands-on learning experiences face difficulties as they cannot practice and develop skills required to compete in state-wide events.

“I am still able to meet up with the mock trial club and make the same amount of progress as before, though interactions are different. Some activities are more difficult due to this, and I have not seen any positive effects from COVID on my extracurriculars,” said Sara Stone, a sophomore.

For mock trial, a club that focuses on imitating court trials and learning about the law, the novel coronavirus has not created many obstacles in comparison to the robotics club. The club has managed to retain the majority of the content they would typically plan to cover throughout a school year but has approached the material in a manner that caters towards a virtual setting. Due to this, students still gain the same knowledge they expected to receive when they joined the club.

“Regardless of the changes COVID has had, I still have the drive to participate in extracurriculars,” Abbas said.

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