Sophie Hagymas decides to spend her senior year at LHS

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Photo by Sophie Hagymas

Young Hagymas diligently works on a math assignment at the kitchen table within her home. Until her senior year of high school, she had begun almost every day alike to this one.

Returning to school during a pandemic continues to be an adjustment for all of us, but for senior Sophie Hagymas, it has been even more challenging. 

From second grade up until the end of her junior year of high school, Hagymas has completed her education from her own home.

“My mom had always wanted to homeschool [my brother and I],” Hagymas said. “When my brother was younger was when she first wanted to try it but [decided] that it would probably be too difficult having a toddler around as well.”

Not only did Hagymas enjoy the realm of homeschooling, but so did her mom, Sherri Hagymas.

“I liked the flexibility of homeschooling,” Mrs. Hagymas said. “I liked that [Sophie] could take her [school]work anywhere she needed to and could do it on her own time.”

Over the course of ten years of being homeschooled, Hagymas used curriculum books from the school district and eventually switched to taking a couple courses through VLACS. Hagymas liked homeschool better as she got older because it was more time efficient.

“It definitely made it easier once I got older and I could be more on my own time,” Hagymas said.

When going into middle school, Hagymas decided that she wanted to try and go back to public school. She wanted to be back with her friends and was “tired of staying home.” While the decision seemed good at first, after a few weeks she decided it wasn’t going to work out. 

“I wasn’t mentally ready for it yet,” Hagymas said. 

The environment and stress of middle school was not an ideal way to jump into being at a public school. The homework load of in-person middle school was the biggest adjustment she faced.

“Since I was homeschooled, I didn’t ever have any [homework],” Hagymas said. “I just wasn’t prepared for the workload and all that comes with middle school.”

Although middle school had brought it’s challenges, Hagymas once again became interested in returning to public school for her senior year of high school. In preparation for what would be a big adjustment, Hagymas took an in-person English 110 course at Manchester Community College during her junior year. 

“I wanted to make sure I was able to and felt comfortable in that type of environment before I head to school on my own,” Hagymas said. 

In light of the challenges and uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and this school year, Hagymas slightly “second guessed” her decision to return to public school. Determined to try it out, Hagymas began the year similarly to most students by following the new hybrid model.

“The first week was definitely an adjustment period,” Hagymas said. “The homework and workload was much more than I was ever used to. I thought that being hybrid would be a good transition between being homeschooled versus fully into public school.”

When finding out that school would be temporarily moved to full remote from Thanksgiving break until mid-January, Hagymas felt “excited” because it was something she was used to. However, now that she’s gotten a taste for attending school during hybrid, she admitted that she would rather be physically back in school again. 

“I’ve found my groove going to in-person classes,” Hagymas said, “and I would rather stay in school now.” 

Overall, Hagymas was happy with her decision to spend her senior year of high school in person. She has become well adjusted and is thankful to be able to spend the year with her friends, whether face-to-face or online. 

“I think it was the perfect time for me. I think it was a great year for me to come back and I felt confident and prepared to do so,” Hagymas said.

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