As life returns to normal, we’re more appreciative of the small parts of our everyday lives.
As November rolls around once again, the air fills with the familiar buzz of excitement that surrounds Thanksgiving. It’s a time to reflect and smile at everything that we’ve cherished over the past months -- especially this year, as we’ve slowly come out of a pandemic that isolated us from each other for so long. Here is what SCO is especially grateful for this Thanksgiving.
COVID-19 is still part of our everyday lives, and a lot of us are more conscious of our sanitation and hygiene than ever. Our hyperfixation on cleanliness leads us to notice the resources that are provided in school and how crucial they are to maintaining our safety.
For example, junior staff writer Kathereen Yang remarks on how before the pandemic, bathroom soap dispensers would often be empty by the end of the day, but now they are constantly restocked to ensure Blazers can wash their hands and minimize the transmission of bacteria and viruses.
There are also, of course, giant tubs of hand sanitizer and wet wipes in classrooms. Yang isn’t sure whether or not these changes are new additions, or if she’s just more observant after the pandemic. “I wasn’t too aware of that before the pandemic, but I definitely am now,” she states.
Regardless, our shifts in perspective are unique to this year, post-pandemic. These resources, which would usually go unnoticed in other years, are something that we’re all more appreciative of now in a very health-conscious world.
The best parts of “normal”
Cleanliness isn’t the only thing we’ve become more aware of in 2021. There are also the aspects about in-person school that we took for granted before in our everyday lives, like social interaction and face-to-face connections with teachers.
For sophomore videographer Trini Szell, even something as simple as walking around the school building is something she took for granted and now is deeply appreciative of.
During quarantine, we were all doing a lot of sitting, sometimes for almost four or five hours a day in classes. Szell explains that her back started hurting, and she missed being able to get up and be active during the school day -- even just for walking in the halls between classes as she does now.
Furthermore, as a sophomore, this is Szell’s first year in the Blair building, so she’s especially appreciative of how much space she has to explore. “Although the classes are really long, we’re able to walk around sometimes… the school’s really big, so it’s a lot of walking,” Szell says.
Returning to normal means noticing what “normal” was like again for the first time. It’s surprising how many parts of everyday school life we didn’t even realize we had taken for granted.
Mental health and self-reflection
Last but not least, quarantine itself has given us some valuable lessons to take along with us in our journey back to normal. The pandemic forced us all to press pause and reflect on our lives, and many of us had to find ways to work on our mental health and use the many months in solitude to focus on self-reflection.
For junior staff writer Gabe Prevots, quarantine allowed him to explore ways to destress, like going on walks and biking. These moments of peace and quiet allowed him to reflect on his day, especially when life was hectic. “For me, externally and internally, I was very anxious [during quarantine] and there was always so much work I had to do. It was always nice… to just reflect on the day,” Prevots explains.
Now that we’re no longer in the pandemic, our lives are just as hectic as before. However, Prevots notes that these techniques and outlets for self-reflection are still useful now. “[They’re] very applicable... school isn’t as stressful as it was during the pandemic, but it’s still very useful to have those breaks,” he says.
Each of us has our own things that we’re grateful for. For Angela, it’s a newfound appreciation for her curly hair that she gained over quarantine; for Myles, it’s getting new inspiration for meal ideas from other people’s lunches; for Mollie, it’s when people start conversations with her. And for Ms. Elie, it’s baked goods, icebreakers, and a great looking SCO staff.
There’s something to be thankful for in the small parts of life, as well as the big ones. Most of all, we’re all grateful to know that we are surrounded by people like us, who are also going down this journey together for the first time.
And of course, we are all thankful to have each other on SCO and for our readers!
Katalina Li. Hi there! I'm Katie (she/her). I'm a senior and a co-Editor-in-Chief of SCO! When I'm not writing or editing, I'm usually messing around on my trumpet, drawing Studio Ghibli characters, or making piano covers for my YouTube channel :) More »