Pandemic on hobbies: Students’ activities return with lift on COVID-19 restrictions


Smith, Maleen

Members of the high school band practice amidst the lifting of COVID restrictions.

Nicholas Scoggins, Staff Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated lockdowns, led to many activities being postponed or cancelled in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. This included sports events, concerts, vacations and other activities. However the lifting of restrictions and LISD’s return to Stage Yellow has allowed for recreational activities to be held again.

“Nobody is following the rules anymore,” senior Roberto Guarda said. “I guess we are back to normal.”

All sorts of extracurricular activities that were difficult to do a year ago have made a comeback. Two days ago, on Oct. 12, LISD moved to Stage Yellow, which will allow for more leniency in spectator and student events. This move also means that students will now be able to return to campus alongside activities such as clubs, sports and the arts. 

Ever since COVID has calmed down, I have been able to fully participate in marching band,” senior Robert Miranda said. “We will go to San Antonio for our final competition, which will be the first time in two years.”

Students have also been able to enjoy many things outside of school. With lifts on crowd sizes and masks, many have been able to enjoy various events such as eating out at a restaurant, going to the movies, touring a museum and more.

“I went to a concert a couple days ago,” Guarda said. “They really don’t require masks anymore.”

For many seniors, the lift on travel restrictions also means that in-person college visits are an option again. Many have said that only viewing a school through a Zoom call did not allow potential students to see what a college is truly about. But visiting in person means that seniors can now adequately plan the next crucial step of their life.

I have almost completed my process,” Miranda said. “During our tours, they did not require masks or weird ‘COVID policies,’ which was quite refreshing.”

Other seniors, however, have used the opportunities afforded to them to plan a different path than the rest. Guarda has been using the freedoms afforded by the lifting of COVID restrictions to prepare for his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps.

“I don’t plan on going that way [regarding college],” Guarda said. “[I’ve] been working out.” 

However in order to make some money for future plans, many students held down jobs during the pandemic in order to have money for their future plans, gain experience that looks good on a resume and to have something to occupy the time during the months of the pandemic.

I used to work at Target; I was a team member for a year,” Miranda said. “I believe a job would be very beneficial to students so they can have a source for income and have a decent resume for college or future jobs.”

Other students opted not to get a job during the pandemic, instead gaining a hobby during the lockdown that they now hope to potentially pursue as a career.

“I am trying to get into editing,” senior Rolando Garza said. “I want to do editing when I get a job: editing videos or photoshop.”

However, some students still feel that it is still in their best interest to keep out of outside activities in order to stay safe. With various new versions of COVID-19 such as the Delta and MU variants, some still feel that staying put is the best choice for them.

“I have actually not done anything,” Garza said. “Definitely in a pandemic still; almost everyday we get a COVID case through a report.”

Regardless of whether the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are over, still going strong or somewhere in between, Vandegrift students are able to begin their former lives again. 

“Overall, I feel as if the world is returning to normalcy,” Miranda said.