Life in middle school: Acknowledging our circumstances with gratefulness

Life in middle school: Acknowledging our circumstances with gratefulness

Residents of the Cayman Islands have the benefit of freedom and leisure at a time when most of the rest of the world is struggling against the global COVID-19 pandemic.

At one point, we experienced the same struggle firsthand. The lives we’d become accustomed to were compromised in many aspects and carrying out our day-to-day routines became much more difficult.

It’s important that we don’t forget what this was like. Some found at first that they enjoyed parts of this new lifestyle — or even preferred it — because they no longer had to face the challenges of human interaction.

However, as this new lifestyle continued on, I and many others came to realise just how much was being missed without the privilege of face-to-face interaction. The common liberties we may have taken for granted before, we now yearned for.

Though Cayman International School handled the situation very well with its home learning programme, it was obvious that something crucial was missing. An important part of our lives had been taken away.

As a student, I thought about the situation this way: When I return to school, I must make my experience the best it can be. I must maintain a positive outlook and avoid getting upset over little things. I must immerse myself in conversations with people I don’t know very well, instead of being afraid of them. I must make sure to take every opportunity to spend time with my friends. Things could change for the worse, so I’ll take advantage of the fact that things are easy now, and be grateful that they are. Gratefulness is equivalent to contentedness. Gratefulness allows me to relish life.

I put emphasis on the fact that we should be careful to preserve our current conditions as we take advantage of them. Cayman International School takes a cautionary approach to its routine and has adopted a number of new procedures, including the requirement for diligent hand washing, regular sanitation of desks, appropriate social distancing and student temperature-testing throughout the day. I believe such precautions should continue in the future for as long as COVID-19 remains a threat for the sake of the overall well-being of students and faculty at our school.

We should not leave room for mistakes by being careless from here on out … and we should not lose sight of the worth and goodness that exists in each of us.

Erin Shaughness is a Grade 9 student at Cayman International School.

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline "Gratefulness under the circumstances."

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