PBS American Portrait


A High Schooler Shares Her Experience With Online School

Arwyn is about to start her sophomore year of high school amidst the pandemic. She is determined to get a sense of normalcy back into her teenage life while attending school online.

AIRED: October 26, 2020 | 0:01:59

- At this point in my life,

I am 15 years old,

I am a sophomore in high school,

and I just really want to go back to school.

[buzzing] - Oh, that's...



- There you go. - Oh, my God.

- Hello.

- Arwyn, I like your new haircut.

- Thank you. - Wow!

- Turn around. Let me see.

- Oh, whoa. - Wow.

- I hadn't noticed. I like it.

- We were having a lot of interesting conversation

today about...

just the range of what

schooling looks like for...

- Oh, yeah. - People and parents.

- That's interesting 'cause I'm having

those exact conversations

but with the kids. - Right.

- Most of my life I have really, really liked school.

Computer. [indistinct] workbook.

And then the pandemic hit.

[sighing] Okay.

And I just--I didn't do as well.

I didn't make good grades.

Which bowl do you want? Which color?

At home, I had to watch my little sister.

So I missed about half of my classes.

Little bitty hearts.

Not doing my own school and struggling with school.

I feel like a failure.

'Cause, like, it's my job right now.

I'm 15. I'm in high school.

It's my job to be good at school.

- So we were calling to chat about

school, which is gonna be starting soon.

How you feeling about a space over there to work?

- Yeah, so we were talking about rearranging my room,

so that half of my room would be set up

for, like, my room purposes

and half of my room would be set up for school purposes.

God, I'm scared for online school.

I'm so scared.

- You can also potentially rely on us.

- Right, but y'all work.

It feels so scary.


It's like, I don't know what's gonna happen, and...

I don't know what it's gonna be like.

[insects buzzing]

Yeah, okay.

♪ ♪