School year made students realize their resilience in face of adversity


Elliott Taylor

Students realize they are well-equipped to adjust to academic changes and are able to finish work despite unusual circumstances.

This year has given everyone perspective on just how soon things can change, and many students have learned that they can adapt and prosper in unusual or frightening circumstances. Students from all grades were asked what they realized about their mental and physical resilience, as well as what they learned about themselves through this challenging year.

Inga Domenick, 11th grade: “This year, I realized that in subjects I really love, for example, theater, it’s much easier to stay motivated. In other classes, though, it’s much harder. Overall, this year I’ve learned that I really can complete school work efficiently while still prioritizing my mental health, I just have to find the stamina to do it.”

Ashkay Badlani, 10th grade: “Before this year I didn’t realize how important interaction was. I just couldn’t have understood how difficult isolation would be. Now that we’re back in person, I’m trying to reach out more, be deliberate about saying ‘Hi’ in the hallways, because I’ve seen how important that stuff is. So I guess I’d say that I’ve learned how hard it is to be resilient alone, but I know more than ever how strong I can be with others.”

Jana Lesniak, 10th grade: “Looking into the future, I feel like I can handle it. This year has been awful, and I would never want to have to go through this again, but it has kind of been a reminder of what I can accomplish and a reminder not to take things for granted.”

Cameron Grant, 9th grade: “I think I’ve learned that I am able to mentally do distanced learning with a strong support group such as my family.”

Kennedi Bickham, 11th grade: “Over the course of quarantine and online classes, I realized that I had a lot more discipline than I ever would’ve thought. Although motivation comes and goes, discipline is ultimately the factor that will get you through hard times.” 

Rohn Hoffmeister, 12th grade: “I’ve learned that I am able to adapt to different situations, and I’m glad that I was able to be resilient during the tough times of the pandemic. It gives me assurance that I’m able to get through tough times in life.”

Brent Pennington, 11th grade: “I’ve really realized how important it is to learn different ways to maintain strong and positive mental health since it can really influence my performance in different areas.”

Andrew Swinger, 11th grade: “Throughout quarantine I’ve felt both great and terrible, weak and strong, and everything in between. I think that all that time alone just gave me enough time to really reflect on myself and have to adapt and grow and deal with the present circumstances, such as finding my own motivation or even to stay physically active.”

Varun Shriram, 9th grade: “I’ve realized that I can learn to cope with being isolated. I’ve also learned that isolation can give you time to reflect on yourself, and while it was mentally hard to not see anyone or do classes online, it made me much stronger for the future.”

Anika Gupta, 10th grade: “I’ve realized that even though it was hard in the beginning, if I’m able to put myself out there, I’m able to adapt to new environments. Although I’ve always been a pretty closed-off person, I’ve realized that I can open up, even in isolation. More than anything I think just that my mental health doesn’t depend on others but rather on myself and what I make of a situation.”