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A Chance to Grow

A normal day at school with my classmates, but who would have known a few weeks later we would be learning from home all split up.

“This too shall pass,” my instructor on Zoom told me as I sat trapped inside a box of a room, losing my mind. Since the start of quarantine, my whole life has changed, in some ways for better and in others for worse. 

I live in the city of Newark, New Jersey, but I commute frequently because I  attend boarding school in Dublin, New Hampshire. Everything I needed was right there on campus. I lived with my best friends who were from all different parts of the world. My teachers were always in reach if I needed help with work. I was a part of clubs and sports, I was one of the leaders of my affinity group, and I had a supportive community. The coaches make sure you have a healthy balance, from your meal choice to mental wellness. You’re not only an athlete, but you’re a student – and most importantly, a part of the community. 

School had become my new home until March 6th, when we were sent back to our families for Spring Break, not knowing that it would  be our final goodbye for the school year. When I returned to Newark, the city was on lockdown and New Jersey was the second state with the most coronavirus cases after New York. The majority of my family works in the medical field, so hearing their stories of what they have to encounter every day is frightening. The virus was spreading like wildfire; even if you were covered up and protecting yourself, you could still contract the virus. 

Being stuck in the house without a social life outside affects you mentally, especially if you’re a teenager. While finishing school virtually, I grew tired of staring at the screen and emotionally tired of being in quarantine. I felt like I had been robbed of my freedom to live the life I should as a teenager.

As a Girl Scout I made a promise “to serve God and my country, to help people at all times…” I decided along with my troop leader to distribute cookies, with the help of donors, to those who are helping and serving the community. We gave the donated cookies to food workers, gas station attendants, hospital workers, and police officers. Giving back to others brings positivity within the community and gratitude, to let the workers know that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. This good deed helped me to feel good inside and inspired me to write a list of my goals for the summer. It helped me to stay focused and busy during quarantine, preparing me for the next school year. I realize this is a time for me to work on self-improvement. If you let this tough time defeat you, it’s a lost opportunity to grow.

This photo shows me delivering just a few of the hundreds of donated Girl Scout cookies. With a quick Facebook post, we made this happen with many donors in different parts of the world contributing.