For most of our lives, we have rushed around. We are always on the move, doing one thing then doing the next thing. We take many things for granted. Many of us don’t stop to contemplate or wonder …
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For most of our lives, we have rushed around. We are always on the move, doing one thing then doing the next thing. We take many things for granted. Many of us don’t stop to contemplate or wonder about this beautiful world. We don’t notice so many things because we simply don’t see them. The beauty in other’s lives; the beauty in our own homes.
Now, with this COVID-19 quarantine, for once, we have slowed down. Many of us aren’t on the move anymore. Now, most people are at home every day, including me. Being at home is making me appreciate things that I took for granted and think about things that I had not thought about before. This is something we should all ponder — what has this made me appreciate?
I think that a lot of kids will agree with me on this part — I miss school. I go to school every day and, although I was one of the ones who did like it, I didn’t yearn to go or to see everyone there 24/7. I just enjoyed it and, well, I never thought it would go away. But then one day, that is exactly what happened. Only since then did I realize how much it really meant to me — the chattering of my classmates, hanging out with my friends at recess, the sweet and spicy scent of the classroom incense diffuser, the feel of a pencil in my hand when I took a quiz and the excited feeling I got when my teachers said they had an announcement.
I realized that school was my life and, suddenly, I was not taking it for granted anymore. All those little things were what I missed most, and then I knew that school was more. Now, I am getting a chance to appreciate school. It means so much. It is the basis of many kids’ daily lives, it makes them who they are and it is so much more than just sitting in a classroom. Although now we have online school, that is simply not the same. It does not have the same feeling or essence. Now that I have had a chance to appreciate it for what it is and does, I really miss school. I look forward to returning to school when it is safe to do so.
For me, the library was an escape from this sometimes harsh world. It was a place of wonder, a place where I could stick my head into another world in a book and stay in that world for as long as I was reading. I am writing this article for the library and now that I can no longer go there — how much I appreciate it! I used to just expect to have it there always, to be able to go whenever my family wanted to. But now that I can’t, I long to go there every day. I realized that, like school, the library was such a big part of my life and like so many other things, I had taken it for granted.
The library is a place where I can escape from reality into the world of fantasy, into the world of knowledge and books. Now that I am home, I miss the smell of the library, the peaceful quiet and the feeling of being surrounded by books. When I was very little, even before I could read or even speak properly, I still loved books. They are a huge part of my life and I will never take the library for granted again. I look forward to when I can return.
Nowadays, I think more about our interconnection with other people. There are all these people that do the things that make up our daily lives — the postman, the clerk at the grocery store, the police, the teachers and educators and especially the doctors and nurses that work so hard every day, sometimes risking their own lives to help people. We need to appreciate them, and I was given a chance to do that. I wrote a letter to the postman to thank him for everything he was doing for the community. Now, our teachers are working hard to keep us students motivated through online learning, which is no easy task. Educators in the U.S. are often underpaid and underrepresented, and it is still no different during the COVID-19 crisis. We should all appreciate them for all of their work and dedication to what they do for us every day.
Other people that I think we should really appreciate are the doctors, nurses and people that work at 9-1-1. All around the world, they are risking their lives to help those sick or in need because of COVID-19. Being at home has really made me think about them, not just the doctors but everyone who works especially hard for their communities during this time. They work hard — all day and every day. They don’t give up on their job. I now realize what all these people are doing for us. They are working for our communities, and now I realize how much hard work they do and how challenging it might be. I don’t just acknowledge that they are there, I think about what they do and thank them internally and externally.
My family has been so amazing during the quarantine. For example, my parents are both teachers, and I realized how difficult it was to engage kids and work at home during online learning. I have been given a chance to appreciate my parents and my teachers for everything they are doing. I used to just acknowledge my teachers and not really think much about the job itself. But that has changed a lot now. I even sent my teachers a video for Teacher Appreciation Week thanking them for everything they were doing.
Before, usually when I was at home, I would sit and read all day without paying much attention to my family. But now as I am with them more often, I have started appreciating them more. We go on walks together, I cook with my dad, I spend more time with my mom and I am playing more with my two little sisters. I am just taking more time to be with them and appreciate my whole family. I am glad that I am doing that because just appreciating has opened up a new world to me.
In conclusion, this quarantine has made me appreciate and think about lots of things and I hope that you can do the same in your time at home. Take a moment to stop and think about things rather than daily life. I’m not saying to ponder deep philosophical questions, but just think about how you can appreciate something that you used to take for granted. We all take so much for granted every day. I believe that staying at home during this quarantine has really helped me think about things that I took for granted, but that I can now appreciate.
Ayana Rojas-Lupoli lives in Siler City with her parents, Christopher Lupoli and Glorina Rojas-Lupoli.