In the beginning of November, I joined a group of approximately 40 other boarders to form Concord Academy’s pilot boarding group. Though the experience made me nostalgic for pre-Covid days, I was glad to be a part of a group that showed CA could “do” boarding, and do it well. 

My first few days back on campus felt unreal. The weeks of quarantine and the pre-entrance testing didn’t prepare me for the reality that I’d be back at CA soon. Undoubtedly, coming back was also very uncanny. Seeing spaces that were once filled with people but were now only able to accommodate small groups was sad and made me long for all of this to soon be over. Having come back to CA from a town that hadn’t been handling COVID well was refreshing. Finally, I was in an area where the situation was being taken as seriously as it should be. 

A big factor in deciding whether or not I wanted to sign up for the pilot group was whether or not I believed it was worth it to go. I wondered if the quality of my education would change much from actually being in classes at CA. I wondered if I was willing to give away my ability to go to different places around my hometown. In hindsight, I definitely think coming back to CA was worth it in some regards.

 Being able to interact with old friends and even build bonds with ones I wasn’t necessarily close with was amazing; I understood the administration’s wishes to have us stay on extended campus. I learned that in certain situations, we’d actually be okayed to leave extended campus to go on runs or visit parks. One of my favorite parts of being back were the days in which the weather was nicer and a group of friends and I could sit and eat lunch or dinner together out on the quad. CA allowing us to do such things brought back a long lost sense of normalcy to my everyday life. 

Of course, my time there wasn’t perfect. Though I understood why boarders were unable to leave extended campus, I felt it was at times tough to see other students have that ability. 

Coming back to in person classes and seeing the ways different teachers went about teaching was interesting. I knew that some teachers prioritized the remote students of the day and that others did the opposite. 

Every so often, I’d get the sense that a lot of the rules students had to follow throughout the day didn’t apply as much to the adults on campus. One instance I remembered was an adult reaching and grabbing their food from the Stu-Fac instead of grabbing the food items from the tray. I almost wish students had been given reason as to why certain rules had to be followed and why although something like making a line to the Stu-Fac in a specific way might have seemed unnecessary was really essential to keeping us safe. Especially after knowing of the anxiety felt by my peers and I from on campus cases.

I plan on coming back to CA for the continuation of its boarding in late January. Though I believe I’ll come somewhat prepared for life at CA, I’m positive new changes will probably come into effect as time passes. All in all, I commend CA for re-opening their community to students and bringing back the portion of CA that makes it the CA I know well.

Photo courtesy of Sonny Tang ’22 | Photo Editor at The Centipede