Mobile Triggers

Guest Blog: New Year, New Memories

Guest Blog: New Year, New Memories
Corinna Crafton

Early last spring, when COVID was newly-arrived and we were all just beginning to figure out how we could teach and learn remotely, I shared with students a bit of wisdom from Mr. Rogers: "Look for the helpers.”

Early last spring, when COVID was newly-arrived and we were all just beginning to figure out how we could teach and learn remotely, I shared with students a bit of wisdom from Mr. Rogers: "Look for the helpers.” There was, and remains, much uncertainty as the pandemic continues into fall. Yet, there is hope all around if we just look for it. Helpers of all sorts have helped us ready school for in-person classes; other folks have assisted in preparing for continued distance learning. Students, too, have emerged as helpers during this extraordinary time.

One such helper assists today. Ruhee Hegde ’25, an eighth grader, is an avid blogger herself and has stepped in, as she did last year, as guest writer for this month's View from the Middle. Her inspiring and hopeful message for the new school year resonates strongly. Ruhee is a helper in the spirit of Mr. Rogers – patient, kind, caring, resourceful, and ever the optimist. I encourage you to read Ruhee's charge to us for this new school year and let us all be inspired to help in the ways we can.

New Year, New Memories 

Greetings to all students, faculty, families and friends. Welcome back to The Wardlaw+Hartridge School, where we will recognize returning faces and embrace new ones. I hope you find this blog staying safe and spending more time with family during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In such times like these, true moments of peace and composure can be hard to grasp. When stay at home orders were first put into place, I didn’t know how life would function with weeks going by without stepping into a car. Although anxiety and upsetting feelings were easy to grab and feel, I ventured out to find happiness. Happiness in a way that makes you reimagine the purpose of this year and remember the good moments.  Instead of going too far down a path of regretting all that we’re missing, I’m redirecting my focus to all the things that we are gaining. A new school year is ahead of us, a year that will be remembered for the rest of our lives, not for the tough moments, but the best ones.

2020 has become the year tragedy has forced us to grow not in height, but as individuals. The school year has so much to bring and it’s okay to feel slightly uncertain about the new guidelines. One of the wonderful things about W+H that I enjoy is the number of opportunities we have to get help. Using each other as our spirit lifters will help us as a community feel more connected about our surroundings. To prepare for the new school year, keep your mind fresh and stay curious about new information. One goal that I’ve kept for myself this year was to get outside of the house for some fresh air. The physical and psychological effect of spending more time in nature is beneficial in times like these. Just taking a five-minute walk outside after a day of classes improved my concentration and value of the words that come out of my mouth. 

As the summer heatwaves disappear through the chilly wind, goals will be made that will hopefully be achieved by the end of the school year or sooner. The purpose and priorities of our new day-to-day lives will spark a sense of independence and adaptability for years to come. The inspiring rock climber Alex Honnold said, “It’s about being a warrior. It doesn’t matter about the cause necessarily. This is your path and you will pursue it with excellence. You face your fear because your goal demands it.” In his 2017 documentary Free Solo, his motivation to scale the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park changed my view on how goals are achieved in the competitive world. It’s not about the recognition you get at the end, but the pride you receive from your own heart. You’ve learned something new and it will possibly be one of the many accomplishments you will mention in your college essay. 

So, students, make this year the year you will remember. Adapt to new situations and be vulnerable about your surroundings. Prepare for the new school year by following all health guidelines and staying organized. Stay joyful and always keep a smile on your face, even if we physically can’t see one.