Reflect and appreciate

A reminder to take advantage of creating connections with others.

For what has felt like a lifetime, the novel coronavirus’s wrath on school life is beginning to dissipate. Sudden changes relating to mask wearing, social distancing, and in-person learning have provided me with little time to reflect on the unrelenting challenges this past year presented.

Behind the many memorable moments of our senior year, this school year has been exceptionally difficult. Hours upon hours spent listening to teachers lecture through our computers as we sat in our bedrooms was not easy. I will admit, virtual school was somewhat enjoyable at first. But after so many weeks of a groundhog day routine, turning on my Zoom camera at 7:30 in the morning became mentally and emotionally demanding. There were days I wouldn’t close my computer until very late at night — typically working on an upcoming issue of The Merionite or prepping for a TSA conference. I enjoyed every minute of what I was doing after the school day — and typically much of what I was doing during the school day too. However, many of the interpersonal interactions I had previously relied on to push my intellectual curiosity in the classroom and in clubs like The Merionite, Debate, TSA, Writing Fellows, and others had largely disappeared. 

The pandemic has taught us the importance of our daily interactions with others and the loss we felt from the breakdown of our personal connections. As we seniors dive into a summer filled with newfound freedom, I encourage the rest of you to take advantage of your numbered days as LM students. Remember, everyday you walk into the Kobe entrance marks one day closer to your graduation. Take advantage of every conversation or salutation you share. One of the most valuable ways to interact with and learn from the many diverse personalities at LM is to escape the constraints of your social circle. I had the opportunity to strike insightful conversations and find common ground in Mr. P’s room with people I never would have engaged with had I only surrounded myself with my close friends. The time I spent fostering interpersonal relationships allowed me to gain a better understanding of my academic interests and helped to develop my leadership skills in my extracurricular endeavors.

The significant moments that should have shaped my high school experience were largely lost this year. Leadership conferences, community service robotics opportunities, car wash fundraisers, a TSA trip to Orlando, and so many other opportunities were snatched away. Instead of regretting what this year could have been, I hope to inspire you to take advantage of creating connections with your teachers and fellow students. Who knows, your favorite teacher could become a lifelong mentor or motivate you to pursue a new interest. The traditional senior year that the class of 2021 missed, I hope, will serve as a wake up call for every student that enters LM to treasure each interaction and experience. LM is truly a remarkable place for finding your academic passion and personal interests, and it all starts with a simple conversation.