Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Steven Bechtler

The class of 2023 hasn’t had the typical high school experience. Halfway through freshman year, we were told we had two weeks of virtual learning, and we would get back to normal after that. Two weeks turned into almost two years of zoom and online learning. 

Although the majority of people like to say negative things about the pandemic and online learning, for me, it had its ups and downs.  The beginning months of the pandemic were difficult for me, because the friends that I used to see every day in person, I didn’t see in person for months to come. My family took the pandemic seriously, so that meant mask wearing, no indoor activities, and 6 ft social distancing. The only time I had in-person connections with my friends was bi-weekly a socially distanced walk around the neighborhood. Summer then hit and my social life actually couldn’t be better. Although I still had to social distance and do outside activities, I managed. I had a pretty big group of friends that I was really close with. 


Sophomore year came and we still had to be in online classes. For me personally, virtual classes were much harder than in person classes because I’m a hands-on learner, and I felt like with zoom you basically had to teach yourself. Virtual learning was also difficult for me because I didn’t socialize with anyone in-person except my family, so I almost forgot how to have an actual in-person conversation with someone. Later on in the next year, I got a job at a country club. That job forced me to have in person connections with people and socialize with people and have in person communication. This was great for me because it taught me how to correctly communicate with people again and jump out of my comfort zone with communication. 

My senior year of high school finally came, and I had looked forward to it my whole life. I finally get to graduate and go to college! Applying for college was kind of stressful for me, because it was new territory for me and I felt like a step forward in my life. At that time I hadn’t done any prior research on which colleges I had wanted to commit to. It was also stressful for me, because I knew as soon as I committed to college, that was where I would end up being for the next four years of my life. I had been in this school district for my whole life, and this was all I had known, so for it to be over soon was a really difficult thing for me to process. I had researched and looked into a college that I had really liked, but I wasn’t certain I would get into it. I applied anyway in hopes of getting in. I did get in, and I did end up committing there. All of the graduation anxiety and stress has pretty much gone away, because I know I am moving forward in the right direction. 

I came in as a shy freshman, I came out as a social, outgoing senior. Although the pandemic was pretty hard for me, it taught me the importance of valuing relationships, whether it be your friends or your family. It also taught me that for me, life is so much better to live when you’re outgoing and not scared of what people might say to you or what they think about you. Going into college, I am still going to grow and evolve into a better version of myself.