SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- It's been a little over a year since students filled the hallways and classrooms at Patrick Henry High School.
For senior Ella Brooks-Kamper, it's exciting to be back on campus and at the same time a little strange.
"Everyone was wearing masks and there were certain ways we had to walk. That was a little weird, but it still was very much like wow! This is a lot of people, and I have not been around this many people in a long time," said Brooks-Kamper.
She was very happy to see her friends as well as her teachers, but she was also a little sad.
"It made me miss part of the year that we lost, but it was also really awesome to see my teachers, especially since I love their energy," she adds.
You can call being back on campus a big relief after spending the last 13 months zoom learning from home, which wasn't so easy.
"It definitely didn't feel like school. It felt more like my own personal study plan," Brooks-Kamper said.
And while Brooks-Kamper says this past year has been so difficult, it hasn't distracted her from her interests and future goals.
"Well, I'm definitely a politics person, both domestic and international," she said.
A political person she definitely is, and that is why she's continued to be involved with San Diego Regional Junior Model United Nations, a program where students discuss topics ranging from foreign policy and economics to diplomacy.
"I love to talk, compete, and write legislation, actually fake legislation. It's about real-world issues. You acquire amazing skills Junior Model United Nations as you get to learn about the international world, which you don't get anywhere else. That is not a thing they teach in school or middle school," said Brooks-Kamper.
Brooks-Kamper will take that wealth of knowledge with her in the fall to Haverford College, just outside of Philadelphia.
"It's an old Quaker school, and it's going to be a completely different experience. I'm super excited to study things like political science," she said.
Brooks-Kamper says after college, she plans on coming back to San Diego to pursue a career in politics.