We did it! We survived the first quarter of our remote school year, and I’ll be the first to admit that this year has been anything but easy. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all become well acquainted with tired eyes, long nights, and sore backs. Students on all ends of the spectrum have found themselves struggling to keep up with our new reality’s mental, emotional, and physical demands. This year, emotions and opinions have been disguised by black boxes and paired with a list of assignments that seems to never end. I think so many of us have become so wrapped up in school work, and that has definitely taken a toll on other aspects of our lives that are equally important. Many of us balance a full plate with school, jobs, sports, and responsibilities at home. School has become a full-time job for some of us, and amid all the chaos, I know how easy it can be to overwhelm yourself as I’ve had a few stressful moments of my own.
As we enter the second half of the first semester, I want to encourage all of us to begin- if you haven’t already- prioritizing our mental and emotional health. This year in itself has been draining for a multitude of reasons (*cough cough COVID). In addition to that, we’ve had a crazy school year thus far. Don’t get me wrong, academic success is important to an extent, but I think your mental health is more important than one or two late assignments. Now more than ever, we need to be there for one another; as cliche as it sounds, we need to try our hardest to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Because let’s face it, though remote learning is our present reality, it won’t last forever. One day, hopefully, sooner than later, we’ll all be reunited. But until then, our community has to come together, and we all need to be sure to check in on one another. It’s been a dark year for some, and I believe that it’ll be so much easier to push through the remainder of remote learning as a united community regardless of how long that may be.
Lastly, as we approach the holiday season, please please take the time to do things that bring you genuine joy. You’ve probably heard that a billion times at this point, and it might feel like you have no time in between the hours of homework each night, but taking that time to yourself might be the very thing some of us desperately need. I find that music can drastically improve my mood. Your “joy” doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant either, and it’ll look so different from person to person! As we draw near to the season of giving, allow yourself to end this year with the gift of peace and joy.