8 Things I’ve Been Missing While Quarantined

Hello everyone!

I’m sure we all have those things we never expected to miss going into quarantine, but actually found ourselves longing for a few weeks into it. I never thought I would miss the hustle and bustle of my busy schedule so much, but here I am! Today I’m going to be sharing a list of 10 things I miss from my normal/pre-coronavirus life with you all, in hopes of inspiring gratitude for the things we don’t normally realize we’re lucky to have or experience.

What I Miss #1: Car rides to and from school.

This was a shock to me, but I do actually miss looking out the window, noticing how busy everyone else is, and people watching during my twenty to thirty minute commute to and from school. It’s my peaceful time to listen to music or have heart-to-hearts with my mom, and I miss that little space of peace in my day.

What I Miss #2: Seeing my teachers and learning in a classroom.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’d know that I love my teachers (and learning in general) and so I obviously miss them a lot. I’m thankful that they’ve been understanding and helpful/accessible throughout this online learning process, but I miss getting to see them and have them explain things in person. I also miss sitting next to my friends in class and getting to chat with them while working or before/after class.

What I Miss #3: Getting up early.

I’m a morning person, but I don’t see the point in still getting up super-early when no one in my house will be awake and I’ll have to be quiet. Also, I’ve been staying up a bit later than normal to watch Netflix or read. However, I miss starting my day early and seeing the last moments of the sunrise as I get ready for school.

What I Miss #4: Yearbook hump days.

Let me explain this one: every Wednesday in yearbook we would take turns bringing a sweet treat/some form of food for the class, just as a reward for making it halfway through the week and a little bonding thing. I definitely miss looking forward to see what would be brought in and getting to celebrate making it halfway through the week with my fellow staff members. I also miss everyone from yearbook so much in general.

What I Miss #5: Club meetings at lunchtime.

I miss all the activities I was involved in at school- most of the clubs I’m in haven’t made any plans to meet online just because we’re fairly small or the activities we normally do can’t really be done online. It’s weird not running around campus and getting to spend time with different groups of people. I’m also sad a lot of events ended up getting cancelled, particularly some events for my Spanish Honors Society.

What I Miss #6: Volunteering at my local animal shelter.

I’ve mentioned this on this blog a few times before, but I usually volunteer at the animal shelter every weekend for a couple hours and just take care of the dogs. I miss the cute little dogs so much!! Their adorable faces would always brighten my day, and it was nice to get to interact with the potential adopters there.

What I Miss #7: Going to get food.

My family has still been getting takeout to help support local businesses, but I miss being able to spontaneously grab lunch with my mom or go get a treat like frozen yogurt when having a tough day. It’s also a major social activity in my area usually, since we live in the suburbs and there’s not much to do out of the house besides go out to eat and a couple other main options.

What I Miss #8: Seeing my friends.

This is the most obvious one which is why I didn’t put it in the beginning, but I know we all probably miss our friends so much. Even the simplest conversations at school or being in the presence of some of my less-close, acquaintance type friends are missed. I’m really craving that social interaction right now, because FaceTime and contact over social media isn’t the same.

I hope this inspires you to make your own list of things you miss. I didn’t make this to mope in a negative way, but to recognize the things that I’m grateful for so I can appreciate them more once life goes back to normal and I experience them again. These times really are crazy, but it will be a huge relief when things go back to normal. I’m wishing the best for our world, and my heart goes out to any of you who have experienced hardships because of the virus. Stay safe and healthy!

Brooke

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A Love Letter to My Elementary School & Teachers

Welcome back everyone!

It was about time that I made my last “love letter to my ___ teachers” (for now). In case you’re new to my blog, I’ve also written posts similar to this one towards my middle school and current high school teachers, so I recommend checking those out if you haven’t already. My blog has a lot of content relating to my schooling experiences and my love for learning (I mean, the title is “My High School Adventures”), so it’s natural for me to pay tribute to the people who have gotten me this far. In elementary school, high schoolers seemed so old, yet here I am, still shocked how fast time has gone.

For a little background, I switched schools going into fifth grade; I had been commuting to a highly-ranked school about 30 minutes away, when I lived near a perfectly good school. I had a rough fourth-grade year with my teacher leaving halfway through the school year, and it was time for a change. It put me on a completely path, and I would not have gone to the wonderful middle school or high school that I’m at now if I hadn’t made that change.

If I could address all of my wonderful elementary school teachers in one letter, I would say this:

Thank you so much for introducing me to new things and pushing me to be better, even as a young child. A special thank you to those who allowed me to pursue the things I loved, by moving me up in reading level and letting me read “the big kid books.” Even though I was EXTREMELY shy and quiet, I definitely appreciated everything you did for me. I honestly wasn’t that good of a kid- I wasn’t a troublemaker because I was so intimidated by you guys, but I know I didn’t have the best habits. Thank you so much for reprimanding me and correcting my ways. It seemed harsh at the time, but it helped me so much in the long run and I understand why you did what you did.

Honestly, I don’t know how you do it. Dealing with twenty to forty needy, crazy little kids everyday and trying to teach them multiple things while doing it is more challenging than I can imagine. I look back on the version of myself you had to deal with and cringe. Thank you for taking on such an important role in molding kids during a formative time in their lives, and doing your best to make it fun. We may not have realized how fun it actually was until moving on to the harder parts of our schooling, but I appreciate it so much now.

Thank you for encouraging us to make new friends. I miss that feeling of actually getting to know each person in your class and having a little family by the end of the year- sure, it’s not always the happiest family, but that sense of community taught me a lot about what friends I wanted to seek in middle school and high school. Thank you for giving me the building blocks and life lessons that I’m still building off of today. I’ve only realized it recently, but a lot of the things I’ve learned I actually started learning from you. Thank you for being kind, encouraging, and overall welcoming spirits that made me more comfortable with getting close to my teachers as the years went on.

Thank you for being people that would check up on me and notice when I needed a motivation boost. Thank you for teaching me how to write!! As silly as it sounds, I actually do think the writing I did in elementary school set me up on the path to do well in writing in middle school, which put me on the path to do well in writing now. Thank you for being you, and well, thank you for teaching me. I know a lot of time has gone by already- you’ve had many, many more classes with new faces and mine has probably disappeared from your memory, but I will remember the years I spent in each of your classes.

Remember to thank your teachers and tell them how much you appreciate them. I hope you have been lucky enough to have at least some teachers you love or have enjoyed learning from- those are the ones that deserve a world of praise 🙂

Brooke

5 Reminders You Probably Need Right Now

Hello everyone!

At the time of writing this, I was feeling a little down, so I decided to spread some positivity and hopefully make your day a little brighter. Here are five happy and general reminders to keep in mind as you go about your busy day. I know I needed them, so hopefully they reach anyone else who needs them.

  1. You’re amazing and deserve the best. Don’t forget that, and don’t trick yourself into thinking anything different. You are beautiful, and you are imperfectly perfect.
  2. It’s the weekend and you deserve a break. Take a breather and do something nice for yourself to relax before another busy week hits. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  3. People love you. No matter who it is, there’s at least one person out there who loves you and would give you the world. You’re not alone.
  4. You are capable of anything, but you will need to put in the work. Anything is achievable when you put your mind to it and take the correct steps towards getting there. Setbacks are temporary, so don’t get discouraged by them.
  5. Your energy and attitude means a lot. Try to see the good in things, and the good will come to you. Try using the Law of Attraction if you haven’t before.

I hope this was what you needed today. It’s different than what I normally post, but it just felt like the right thing for me to write. Thank goodness for finals week being over 🙂

Brooke

A Love Letter to My Middle School & Teachers

Welcome back everyone!

The week that this post goes up is actually finals week at my school, so I will be getting through my sophomore year first semester finals as you’re reading this. During tough and stressful times in school, I can’t help but be thankful for the people who have helped me get this far in my education and shaped my view on how important learning is. A great deal of shaping myself into the student I am and aspire to be now happened in middle school, and I am so thankful for that. I’ve already posted a love letter to my high school teachers (that I’ve had so far) in the past, so make sure to check that out if you haven’t!

Middle school was a strange time in my life- it is for everyone. You’re starting to grow up and you think you’re grown up but you’re really not, school actually starts to get harder and you’re put on a track that you’re kind of expected to follow through the rest of your schooling career, and it’s your first taste of balancing multiple classes, a social life, and options for extracurriculars beyond recreational classes and sports teams through your local rec center. You don’t just have one teacher that is tasked with helping you through the day-you’re expected to ask for help.

I hated my middle school sometimes (the dress code was extremely strict and sexist), but I had amazing and helpful teachers (for the most part) that made those weird few years easier and even fun (sometimes). I actually did struggle through a few of my classes, but I’m glad I did- I ended up strengthening my study skills a lot and becoming a much better student which was a huge deal going into high school. Now that you have all this background on me, think back on your own middle school experiences, especially your classes/teachers, and how they impacted you. With that, here’s the letter I would write to my middle school and teachers.

To my middle school teachers and anyone else at the school,

Thank you so much for all your hard work. First of all, people don’t appreciate teachers enough. I could never do what you do, especially working with this extremely fickle and strange age group. You work to mold these kids into students that will be successful in high school and the other next steps in their life, and you made such a difference when it comes to me and my personal experiences as a student. I wouldn’t be where I am without you. Thank you for integrating so many different types of lesson plans and projects to keep us interested and always learning something new. Thank you for setting us up with knowledge we didn’t even know we would need again in our high school classes.

Thank you for giving it your best effort to make school fun with Friday lunch music in the quad, themed school dances with lights and DJs, special events for eighth graders, the trip to D.C. (aka the best trip of all time), and more. Thank you for actually making me feel at home at school. Thank you for having fun electives that allowed me to experience activities I never thought I would. A special thank you for having woodshop as an elective and giving me a second family to rant to that year. Thank you for making school fun again, and reminding me that I love to learn.

Thank you for making me struggle a little bit sometimes and forcing me to figure things out for myself, something I hadn’t always been able to do before. Even though it wasn’t actually that hard, it was hard at the time and it pushed me to be better. Thank you for helping me gain confidence in myself and realize that I could be successful as long as I put the work in. Thank you for having fun honors classes and having these opportunities to challenge myself, because it made me crave more challenging classes in high school. Thank you for beginning to put us on the long path of college prep and figuring out who we want to be in life, even though we obviously didn’t and still don’t have a clue.

Thank you for being you, and getting me through middle school. At the time, that was all that mattered.

I hope this reminds you of all the amazing work teachers do for the youth of today. Make sure to let your teachers know how thankful you are for all their help, teaching, and support. I’m so lucky to have had mostly amazing experiences with my teachers- I know not every person/school has that privilege.

Brooke