Unlike any other June, the end of the school year doesn’t feel right to students like me. COVID-19 has affected all of us and forced us out of classrooms. However, the conclusion of this year’s online classes presents the chance to reflect on its merits. While I, and many of my peers, were initially uncertain when online learning began, I’ve since found that it could be the next step for high schools — shortening school days and reducing student stress.

Importantly, online education doesn’t come at the expense of academic rigor: Readily available study materials and helpful teachers have made it easy to continue learning remotely, thus ensuring that our education stays on track. With this disorganized laissez-faire, we have also had the opportunity to manage our own time, preparing us for the independence of adulthood and giving the flexibility needed to personalize our education to fit our needs. This new autonomy has afforded me more time to relax and unwind — managing stress in an otherwise stressful junior year of high school.

Although my experiences are purely anecdotal and online classes still have their shortcomings, integrating more asynchronous learning, in conjunction with classrooms, could improve education for students across the state.

David Song, Sammamish