A Blessing in Disguise

"I have learned that I am a very independent learner, I love the environment of coffee shops, and that social interaction (even if it’s a quick call) is healthy for me.”

12th grade

12th grade student

Myers Park High School

Myers Park High School

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The day all of my commitments were put on hold, including school, I felt a sense of impending loneliness. I searched for normalcy but these are unprecedented times. I was forced to confront my frenetic drive to take a competitive course load and to do all the “right” things to be successful; i.e. the source of my stress. I also felt quite helpless as I saw the world entering chaos: people fighting at grocery stores, domestic violence cases increasing, tent city growing, etc. Overall, I felt flustered yet hoped that this unintentional break would yield some much-needed change (around the world, in America, for me, etc.).

I think I've struggled with balance a lot of my life. So I've been working on like social balance and making sure I'm still making time for friends and also kind of like physical health has become really important to me as well.

Going to school during the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. The freedom to curate my own schedule after synchronous class has been great. As a senior, I find it is much easier to communicate with teachers, which has been key during the pandemic. However, I have had some challenges applying the course information I learn to the real world. In the past, I deeply understood each concept, but I worry I have only grasped the surface level information. Also, navigating technology has been difficult at times. Yet, technology has created many opportunities to attend more national meetings and sessions than ever before.

One bright spot I am reminded of was the creation of the Myers Park Black Student Union in the midst of a very difficult summer, particularly for the Black community. The Black community at Myers Park is not very connected, I would say just because it’s such a large school. So I felt that this environment and sort of like community would be much stronger with a Black Student Union. We’d be able to talk about student life at Myers Park…maybe things we’re struggling with there, but also kind of hold events as well geared toward the Black community or geared toward raising awareness about things in the Black community. Particularly with the events of George Floyd and his murder and the Black Lives Matter movement, I think what also made it very positive was seeing that something good could come from that.

I miss interacting with acquaintances at school, people you are not super close with but share a class with. I miss this because it allows you to go beyond your typical friend circle. I do not miss the stress and anxiety of school. I have learned that I am a very independent learner, I love the environment of coffee shops, and that social interaction (even if it’s a quick call) is healthy for me.

- Kyle

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