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For the First Time, Again: 'I Had No Idea What Some of My Classmates Looked Like'

Courtesy of Haleigh Swabowicz

Many New Hampshire high schoolers are back in the classroom for in-person learning five days a week for the first time since March 2020.

Haleigh Swabowicz is a senior at Nashua High School South, which until this week had been in either a remote or hybrid learning setting. She shared what it was like to return to school full-time — for the first time, again.

We want to hear from you: What are you excited to do for the first time, again? Let us know at

What returning to school was like for Haleigh Swabowicz: "So this week has been quite interesting… Being remote for the majority of this year, a lot of people kept their cameras off and probably never unmuted themselves, so I had no idea what some of my classmates looked like or sounded like. So coming into school this week, I saw some people for the very first time... A girl in one of my classes, I met her for the first time this week, and we just kind of clicked right away. She’s one of those people you just get along with right away. And I’m just like, ‘I wish COVID didn’t happen so I could have had this whole year with you,’ because we’re such good friends so quick. It’s just wild thinking I could have been friends with her for the whole year, but we’ve been remote, so I haven’t gotten to meet her until this week.”

If you’re planning to do something for the first time again, too, we’d love to help you share that story. Let us know what you’re doing at, or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. Click here for more details on how to participate

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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