Friars Find Gratitude During COVID

     Life is a whirlwind for Fenwick students. Students are late to bed, early to rise, leaping from cars to practices to finals without a pause. It’s easy to sit down and shut down after a long afternoon, and barrel right into the morning. However, it’s worth it to pause and take stock of the day. The moments of gratitude are often hidden just beneath the surface of rapid life and around the corner of the monolith of pandemic restrictions.

     According to Thérèse Giannini, a senior, lockdown has enabled her to spend time on activities she wouldn’t be able to have time for. Thérèse highlights her experience during lockdown: “I have been able to do more, because there’s more time.” Her favorite activity has been growing closer with her sister on bike rides. “I found this super cool path that goes through the forest [by my house],” says Thérèse. Thérèse is grateful that she has opportunities to be active, and despite senior year not being what she imagined, she’s glad it’s there. Thérèse affirms her gratitude for senior year: “I’m happy I made it this far; it’s a lot of work.” This year may not be going as expected, but Fenwick students are still learning and diving into what life has to offer.

     Senior Diego Jimenez reflects on what he has learned throughout his Fenwick experience. The most important lesson according to Diego is to “Enjoy the little moments with the people who care.” For him, that means spending time with family on game nights and Face-Timing his grandfather, who lives in Texas. Diego highlights his gratefulness for his family and all they have learned together. Although close-quarters family life is never all roses, Diego is glad for the bonds that he’s formed. There’s good to be found even in hardship, when family and friends are left no choice but to stick together and form community. Diego reflects on New Year’s of the memories of last year’s parties with friends and family, which left Diego thinking about the loss of communal experience this year. This reflection has taught Diego to look at the bigger picture, as has learning from his parents’ talking about the challenges that other family and friends are facing. Diego said this helped him “be grateful for the things I have that others don’t.” 

     The themes of family and perspective run through Diego and Thérèse’s gratitude. This has been a hard year, for Fenwick students as well as the world, and there are hard months ahead. However, as an old proverb says, this too shall pass. Family, and the lessons learned in these four years of high school, are for life. Time will pass, family will grow, and by August next year, Fenwick students will be taking their newfound knowledge to the next year of life.