Berthoud teens and tweens on living through a pandemic

Courtesy photo – Paige and Cameron Farnam work online to complete their schoolwork.

By Jordan Schachterle

The Surveyor

It’s no question that each and every person’s life has changed throughout the past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have lost their job or a loved one, some lives have only been marginally changed by just having to work from home and others are somewhere in between.

It’s in the news daily that adults are working hard to keep their families and careers afloat and it’s no easy task. But how are the younger generations doing during this corona crisis? How has school at home, canceled sports and events, constant family contact, and so much more changed kids and teenagers’ lives?

It differs of course between age groups and households, but there seems to be some consistent trends throughout young people in Berthoud. Online school at home is not ideal and contact with friends and classmates is greatly missed.

Paige and Cameron Farnam, eighth and fifth grade, respectively, spoke about how their lives have been affected. The sisters and their family have all remained safe and healthy through this time. They each expressed they feel safe from the support of their parents and their overall level of health.

“I know I am healthy, and I eat healthy food and so I’m not worried,” Cameron, who is 11 years old, said, “and even if I do get sick, I have a good immune system so hopefully my body would be able to fight it off.”

The girls are both doing school from home, the same as other Berthoud school students. Most schoolwork is given to students through Google Classroom, an online resource that allows teachers to post assignments, give instruction, and is also a channel for communication between the entire class.

“It’s harder being at home because you can’t ask your teachers questions, even just an easy question on an assignment,” Paige explained a difficulty of online school, “they have specific times so you have to remember to call them at that time and ask them the questions. Sometimes you don’t always get what you would get in a regular classroom.”

Along with their schoolwork, the girls have filled their day with other activities from working out to video games. The sisters both said they were most looking forward to seeing their friends and family once it’s safe to do so.

It’s the same for most teenagers and kids; they miss their friends. Alex Schultz, a senior at Berthoud High School also felt that that was one of the hardest parts of the current situation. Schultz, who is a part of the 2020 graduating class, was able to find some light in the dark ending of her senior year.

“It’s really disappointing that the coronavirus is taking so much from my senior class experience. With that being said, it has made me realize to never take a moment for granted. It has also made me appreciate school, classmates, and teachers so much more.”

Matthew Haberkon, who is also a senior at BHS, shares some of the same feelings, but is ready for the usual world to return.

“I think the whole thing has kind of been blown out of proportion in my eyes,” Haberkon said, “I’m ready to be able to go out to restaurants, be out with my friends and family. I’ve been working like usual, filling the time I would usually be at school, so I mean things haven’t been too different, just ready for it to feel normal again.”

While the situations differ for everyone, young people are really missing social interaction with their friends and looking forward to the day their lives will be back to how they were before COVID-19.

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