7th-grader finds ‘silver lining’ in quarantine

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Student Journalist Lyla Laffin.

Mid-Hudson News has launched a “Student Journalist” section to allow elementary, middle, and high-school students to write essays or “news as they see it” for submission.  The following is an essay from one of our “Student Journalists”, Lyla Laffin.

I definitely did not see my 7th-grade year going this way. My experience is just an inconvenience compared to many others who have lost family members and friends. However, despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 virus in my life, there have been some silver linings. 

One of the most difficult things for me during the quarantine is not being able to see my friends. Yes, there is FaceTime for which I am extremely grateful, but it is not the same as seeing them in person. I have had some Friday dinners with friends via FaceTime.  My friends are what make me enjoy school as much as I do. I miss them a lot and wish I could be quarantined with all of them. I am so very grateful that I have the friends that I do and that I am able to FaceTime them. I have realized many times that some people do not have access to wifi and devices and cannot talk or FaceTime with their friends.  Recognizing how fortunate I am to have friends and access to them is one silver lining.

There are many activities that I miss because of this quarantine including sports. I play soccer, and basketball for New Paltz Middle School and was planning on doing track this spring. I also played YBA town basketball in the winter which ended early due to the quarantine, so we missed the playoffs.  I am also a part of the New Paltz Travel Soccer Club and I have been playing with many of these girls since I was in third grade. I love playing soccer with them. In addition, I have really missed important sporting events such as March Madness. The cancellation or postponement of sports has made me very sad, so I have been running and practicing my skills for basketball and soccer to keep my mind off of it.  Another silver lining is my understanding of how lucky I am to be able to go outside in a safe community and enjoy the beauty of our town.

There are many things that I have done so that my anxiety and boredom do not get out of control. One of those things has been following a schedule. Every night, I read my book before I go to bed to clear my mind, then I wake up at 8:00 the next morning. I start by eating breakfast then hopping on Google Classroom by 8:30. This way I have plenty of time and I get my assignments done early so I do not have to worry throughout the day. I also play the clarinet, so I always try to practice that as much as I can. Then in the afternoon, I go on a walk/run with my mom or dad so that I am getting physical activity. On rainy days, I practice my soccer foot skills indoors, using my Dribble Up app.  Staying on my schedule has helped me manage my stress and anxiety during the quarantine.   

A final silver lining COVID-19 has brought me is being able to slow down and not be as busy as I was during the school year. I have also been able to have very nice talks with my parents which I do not think I would have had if we were all still at work and school. I know that many people are struggling from either losing their job, the pain of losing a family member, or the struggle of being sick with the virus; however, I am just taking this quarantine day by day and trying to find the positive where I can. 

Student Journalist Lyla Laffin.


About the author:
My name is Lyla Laffin. I am in seventh grade and go to the New Paltz Middle School. I love playing soccer and basketball. My favorite subject is probably math but I really enjoy writing too. 

If you have a student that is interested in writing a submission, please send an email to Todd Bender at bender@midhudsonnews.com and ask for the submission requirements.

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