Abbey is a First Year at Roseville High School. She is a talented Volleyball player and is a first year peer minister.
My name is Abbey Hayek and I am a freshman at Roseville Area High School. What people know about me is what I tell them. I’m selective about what I share mainly because I like to focus on the positive and not dwell on what I have no control over. It is fair to say that in the past year my life has significantly changed.
Everyone’s life is always changing. A major change in the past year for me was my family. My parents divorced in June and my sisters and I have been bouncing between houses. Another change was starting high school...it was new school with a new homework load and expectations. Add on sports, peer ministry and learning to drive; the year has been crazy to say the least.
After that came Covid, leaving all of us stuck at home. Being stuck in the same place has allowed a lot of reflection time. I’ve looked back on the past year and realized is was a crazy, emotional year but I am still happy. I try to look at life positively, measuring how good it is by how happy I am. Controlling what I can and not dwelling on the bad.
My parents divorce was a major change, but from that I created a better bond with my sisters and mom. Starting high school was another transition, however I was surrounded by friends and had a fun volleyball season. Being quarantined with my family is fun, we learn something new everyday. Sure we drive each other crazy, and get on each other’s nerves, but there is no one I’d rather be stuck with because they make me happy, and we all need a little happiness in life.
My challenge to you is reflect on your life. What’s making you happy, what can you control? Find it and cherish it and share it with others so they can find their own happiness.
Anneke de Looze
My name is Anneke de Looze and I am a junior at Maple Grove Senior High School. I am going to tell you something that I have not opened up to many people about, not even my fellow peer ministers. I feel the need to share this with the SJA community and I know that I can trust you all (and because writing about is easier than talking about).
I began quarantine at the same time as most people, early March. It was right after my birthday and at first, I was actually excited about the pandemic because I am a huge history nerd and it was so cool to me that I was living through something that will end up in history books. After about a week of being in quarantine, however, I started to get depressed. It was a mixture of needing space and feeling bad about how my body looked. I live in a split level house with five other people, one of whom I share a room with. It was incredibly difficult to find somewhere where I could be alone.
I am an introvert, so I get my energy from being alone. I started closing myself off to my family. If you ask anyone in my family, they will tell you that I love hugs, and I love being close to people. While I was depressed this completely changed. I would not let anyone touch me, and if people started getting too close to me, I would start to shrink back. At the same time, I was growing very uncomfortable in my body. I stopped eating almost completely, I would only eat if I had cooked a meal for the whole family.
My parents tried to help me, they cleared out a room in the basement and set up some old chairs so that I could be by myself. I would go to the basement at around 8 AM and then stay there until 11 PM. I would almost never leave, and in hindsight, I think this made my depression worse. I stopped going outside, I stopped joining my family for dinner, I did not join my family on the daily walks they took.
Once, my mom convinced me to join everyone for dinner and I sat at the table without eating and I watched my siblings mess around at the table. This made me feel sad because it felt to me that they were carrying on just fine without me. It didn’t seem like my siblings missed me at all. Looking back at it, I know that this thinking was stupid, but at the time, it was very real to me. I asked to be excused halfway through dinner, and when my mom looked like she was hesitating, I exploded, saying things like, “I am not contributing anything to the conversation”, “Why do you even want me here”, “I am just making everyone depressed” and as I got up and started to leave I said, “just go back to having fun, you obviously don’t need me”.
This was when I finally realized that I wanted out. I wanted to break through the haze that had surrounded me for the last few weeks. I wanted to have fun with my family but dragging myself out of my depression is much easier said than done. I started noticing that when I cooked and when I went outside, I felt much better.
Over the next few weeks, I slowly started to come out of the depression. I started eating again. I finally came out of it about two weeks ago when I was lying awake at night and I was thinking about what kind of life I wanted to live. I realized that I no longer wanted to hide away in that musty basement. I wanted to laugh with my family again. There were many other things I thought about, and I refer to it as my epiphany. So the next morning I woke up and did a workout. I was more energized than I had been all quarantine. I told my parents about the epiphany, and the first step was giving them a hug.
Now I am back to my normal self (mostly). When something like that happens, it is life-changing. I will never quite be the girl I was before quarantine, but I think that is okay. Since then, I have really cultivated my love for cooking and I join my family on our daily walks. I have found love in planning meals with multiple courses (next week I am making a five-course Indian meal). Now I feel blessed with the things I took for granted while depressed. I call my friends very often and I have 3-hour long conversations with them. I recently found out that I made it into my school’s branch of the National Honor Society. I stay up late with my foreign exchange sister and laugh at the most random things.
This is my story (which I have written with shaky hands and have had to take many breaks from) and it is completely unique to me, and can in no way be used as a mirror for someone else’s depression, but I hope someone finds comfort in it and knows they are not alone. Thank you for taking the time to ‘listen’ to me, and know you are not alone in this crazy time.
Tara is a First Year at Roseville High School and is a peer minister at Saint Joan of Arc.
In this very odd time where you are quarantined with your family it can be very hard not to go insane. But my family have found ways to still have a “fun” time, and I know every family is different. Mine is easier than most. My family that I live with is just my mom and my 2 cats, so me and my mom just have to not kill each other and trust me it is harder than it sounds.
One new way that has helped my family not go insane is playing chess. Recently I got a Lord of the Rings chess set for Easter (I have been looking forward to getting it for a long time), and I was very excited to teach my mom chess. I have known how to play chess for a long time but I never had anyone to play against and I never had a chess board -- which if you have never played chess before the board is a very vital piece to the game.
I taught my mom how to play. She gets frustrated not because that she loses but because chess is a mindset and it takes practice to get into that mindset. We have not played that many games, mainly because she quits after one game and I quote this directly from my mother “my head hurts”. But we still have lots of fun.
Another thing that my family does for fun is taking little drives to the wonderful worlds of the drive thru. We usually end up going outside around lunch time every 1-2 ish days and we end up going to fast food and it is fun (keep in mind I have not seen many of my friends so my bar of fun has lowered by a lot). The car is a magical place to tell stories or talk about memories and it is just so fun when you go on a spontaneous road trip with your family. Not too far away but just 20 or 30 minutes and you can just look at wildlife and it is so much fun.
We also put up our porch swing this past week and we love sitting on it and watching the wildlife together. I think there are some very clear good and bad parts to this quarantine but I really like spending it with my mom and finding fun ways to keep us entertained.
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.