Idaho vs. Massachusetts: A New Student’s Perspective


Alicia Knapp, Herald Staff

Coming from the little town of Deary, Idaho to Holyoke, Massachusetts has been a long and exhausting journey. Dealing with the struggles being thrown my way weren’t the easiest, but by being a strong individual I was able to overcome the struggles. One of the biggest differences that I have seen since I’ve been here is that the cultures are completely different and the way people act and present themselves is different.

As a new student coming into remote learning with a student count of 1,334 students is slightly different for me, I have been used to face-to-face learning and only have a student count of 75-164 so my class usually had five to eight kids in one class. I’m glad to say that I don’t have to be around judgmental people that are critical of many things, such as being friends with a transgender girl, and many other things. Many people from Idaho do not understand and are not used to being around “different” people, so so far the people here have been very supportive and kind. Since we are in remote learning, I will not really know how students from Massachusetts act or present themselves, but at the end of the day all people from any state, country, race or gender are considered the same to me.

Many teachers have their own teaching styles but when it comes to Idaho teachers it felt like you were learning the same thing over and over again, it didn’t matter if the teacher was teaching Math or English. In Idaho you are surrounded by mainly just the same type of people and eventually after a couple of months I was getting frustrated with the students and the school systems and remote learning. I was confused on why the school wanted the students to be virtual but they didn’t have the money to get higher source of internet (WiFi) for the students, and the worst part is when your teacher told you had homework on the computer. Imagine having homework on a device that will not work out of the school area because you literally live in the middle of nowhere. 

From the time I started here at Holyoke High I have been welcomed into the classes and quickly informed on what’s happening. The teachers that I have this year are all unique and different and have their fun way of teaching, although most people say they do not like remote learning for whatever reason. I find remote learning to be quite easy to follow what the teacher is saying and finding your assignments. I noticed the students usually don’t like talking or showing themselves in the zoom calls and to a degree I truly feel bad for some teachers because they do not get the same reaction like they did before the remote learning.

When it comes down to saying which state in my opinion is better I would say Idaho if you are there to enjoy the view, otherwise for educational purposes and more positivity or feeling welcome from people, I would go with Massachusetts. Overall these two locations have their pros and cons but whatever situation you are in I’ll say try your best with what you got and if there’s an opportunity somewhere else take it.