Tom is a graduating Senior from Open World Learning. He wrote this letter to COVID-19 as a prompt for school. Tom has been a peer minister for two years at Saint Joan of Arc.
You really suck. Second semester of my senior year was supposed to be a reward for the 4 years of hard work I put in, and a relief from the stressful college application process.
Instead, I am stuck inside with two brothers who fight non stop and a sister who occasionally emerges from her room to beat me at Mario Kart. When I thought of playing the sport I love with the people I love this spring, I thought of going to state with my friends on the ultimate field, and winning more than one game of volleyball this year. I did not think of playing HORSE, around the world, 3 on 1, and a variety of other basketball related games with my family to keep the boredom at bay.
This was supposed to be our year for ultimate, something I had built up to and was excited about for as long as I can remember. Instead I am relegated to backyard basketball and Zoom calls. I know this will be over, and that it will make for a “memorable” senior year. But I wanted it to be memorable in a different way.
All I know is that if you cancel my first year of college my friend, Jedi, and I are hopping on a $30 flight to the Philippines. Please don’t do that though, the president there is threatening to shoot anyone dead who leaves their house.
The one good thing you brought about is that I really realized how much people mean to me, and how much happiness they bring to my life.
In the immortal words of that one meme: “I would’ve hugged the homies a little tighter if I knew it was going to be like this.”
So that’s what I have to say Covid. Go away.
Daniluz is a Senior at Minnetonka High School. She is actively involved at Saint Joan of Arc as a peer minister and as a member of sister parish.
To say the least, preparing for Easter was kind of a wild ride. There is this need to adapt to the new “normal,” but also amidst this confusion, there is the reality that life still goes on and Easter this year was a reminder of that.
One of my favorite traditions that my family does is the 12 Dishes on Holy Thursday. These dishes symbolize the 12 disciples of Jesus and every year, we would invite people to essentially have a meal with us and socialize with one another. Of course, this year was different.
While it was sad that I was not able to reconnect with people during this time, it also gave me the opportunity to sit down with my family and enjoy a meal that was usually filled with a lot of socialization. The whole simplicity of the evening made me realize how food is not just an essential, but also a symbol of connectedness. It is shown when Jesus shared himself with his disciples at the Last Supper and in any meal connecting friends, family, or community.
Food is a medium that brings us together and while I did not have many people to share a meal with on this day, I still felt that similar warmth being surrounded by the people I love.
Tradition can mean or symbolize something different for each individual. Though it is usually in remembrance of something that is passed down from generations, I am starting to see it as a comfort and hope for the future as well. Traditions help celebrate culture and identity, and especially now, it has reminded me of my ideals and values that I want to treasure and the people I want to share them with.
Easter is the celebration of life and while it is a communal event, this year has given me the opportunity to look introspectively on what it means to me. It has truly shown how meaningful community is to me and how important it is in defining my identity. Even though geographically we are separated, we are not alone and our traditions can still live on as joyful expressions of ourselves and provide grounding and hope for the future.
Tess is a ninth grader at Visitation School. She is active in our parish as a peer minister and is involved in many extracurriculars at school.
Hello peers from SJA, boy is it a crazy time in the world! Although there are so many reasons to feel down in these times of physical isolation, I want to challenge people to use this time to grow within themselves. My name is Tess Cavanaugh, and something I have done during quarantine is start a blog. I started a blog with a friend and leader in our community, Eve Miller. Eve and I started this blog in order to inspire teens to find their purpose and grow in their character to better our world. The blog is called The Ripple Effect (I will link it below) and its message is to help people grow in who they are to make the world better in times of hardship.
Writing this blog is guiding me to find my purpose. Someone's purpose is ever-changing, and being in quarantine may seem to put a dampener on how you make the world better. But you can make the world better in so many ways! My purpose is to bring joy to people's lives. Just because the normal ways I make people smile and bring joy have changed that doesn’t mean I have to stop.
I have found that moving physically has given me a purpose as well. I go on a walk or run every day as well as start my day off with a yoga workout. This not only gets me rejuvenated for the day but makes me get up in the morning! I have set goals for myself and written them down - long and short term. On a piece of paper or my phone I write down the things I want to get done in my day and in my week. Every little thing I will write down because at the end of the day I can look back to see what I’ve accomplished. This gives me motivation because I really want to check everything off that list! Even if the only thing on the list that day is to watch a movie and read a chapter in my English book.
Someone's purpose is such a key thing in life, and in these times of hardship it is even more important to not lose sight of ourselves and who we are. Change can be scary and it’s easy to cut yourself off from the world because of it. But just as God has put COVID-19 into our lives, God has also given us the strength to get through it.
So, I challenge you to find a purpose in these times of quarantine. Get yourself out of bed with a reason to grow in your relationship with God.
Our youth at SJA have amazing things to say. Our goal is to give them a platform to share their thoughts on topics they want to talk about. Their thoughts are uniquely theirs. From politics to faith, school issues to our church, this blog shares their voices with our community.