2020: Lessons Learned by Niwot Students

Maddi Stapp, Reporter

This year has been a whirlwind, to say the least. 2020, along with COVID-19, changed many of our lives. We have quarantined and experienced a shift from online school to hybrid learning, back to online learning, and back to hybrid again. We adapted to a new lifestyle and made changes in our interaction and ways of learning. It can be difficult to share about our lives or to tell our stories, so I wanted to give the Niwot community the ability to reach out and tell me their stories. Each and every one of you matters, and I cannot wait to share some of them with you all!


To start, let’s hear from our Senior student body president, Benjamin Goff. Ben states: “It has been a decent year! I’ve been super disappointed with the lack of any ability to do school events and get a senior year, but I’ve had the opportunity to train and really get in tune with myself. I’ve been able to maintain an optimistic perspective through most of everything, which i’m proud of, even with all the stuff happening.” 


Sophomore Anika N said: “2020 was the exact opposite of what we all wanted… instead of celebrating birthdays with friends, going shopping, or even going to school, we had to switch our daily activities onto our technological devices.” Anika shares a personal and touching story, saying, “It was my 15th birthday in April. Around late March, I thought that our extended Spring Break would give my time to plan my birthday. My birthday rolled around, but those well-thought plans had to be put on hold. It was a somewhat depressing day. I couldn’t meet my friends or extended family and celebrate with them. What angered me the most was when I tried to FaceTime my friends they didn’t pick up, so I indulged in The Office for 5 hours. The evening came, it was time to be filmed while cutting a horribly frosted cake. Before I cut the cake, my sister brought her laptop down and told me her work colleagues wanted to say hi. I thought ‘Great, of all people, my sister’s colleagues wanted to wish me a happy birthday’ – I braced myself. Before I knew it I heard teenagers singing Happy Birthday to me. All of my friends from all over the world were on that call. The sound of lagging auto-tuned voices singing was music to my ears. It was a great reminder to learn to make the best of what we have.” 


Mercer Stauch, a Junior and Chief Editor of The Green + Black stated: “I used to think that online school gave me extra motivation because it was pretty easy and that I would have energy left over to apply elsewhere, but it’s turned out to be the opposite. I find it really draining and sad to stare at a screen and see people I love but can’t be with, especially since everyone’s suffering and usually the cure for that is togetherness.” 


Jordyn Stewart, a Junior at Niwot and a Journalist for The Green + Black, stated: “2020 has been a crazy year to say the least. It started with me moving to Niwot to be with my best friends. It was the best time of my life, honestly. I remember seeing things about COVID and laughing about it because it seemed so impossible. Soon after, it ended up coming to the US. I was more than thrilled to get that extra week of spring break but little did we know that would be the end of normalcy for a long time. Life became pretty uneventful and school was just weird. Summer came and things began to open up. Though 2020 has been a tough year, I’d say this last summer was the best summer of my life. It was the first summer I spent with a solid friend group. We did everything together and spent almost every minute of the summer together. Even though we couldn’t go out very much or travel, I am so thankful that I had all of them to make my summer complete. Going into Junior year is scary. Everything I’ve ever heard has been about how hard it is so I was definitely nervous. I have now come to find that it’s been relatively simple. Besides being in IB I’ve found it pretty relaxed. It’s been an interesting semester so far, but I’m grateful for how healthy my family and friends have remained. I hope to go back in January and slowly return to normalcy, but whatever happens, happens, and I’ve accepted every possibility – as long as everyone I know remains healthy.” 


Thank you so much to all of our contributors! I loved hearing your stories and hope to hear more from many of you. Thank you all for persevering through 2020 – I know it wasn’t an easy year, but I am proud of you for remaining strong.