I believe that today marks the 40th day or longer for students learning virtually. FORTY DAYS! It has been six-weeks of virtual academics, zoom meetings, webinars, lunch bunches online, gaming with friends, and spending time with family. When is the last time you hugged someone outside your family or shook a stranger's hand? I remember a few weeks ago, a conversation with a stranger that I had at the grocery store while standing six feet away. She had a rising junior in high school, and naturally, we had a lot to discuss! We talked about all things related to college admissions. As our conversation came to an end, I wished her well and gave her a big smile. That day a smile would have to do, not my typical hug! It has been a while since I hugged a stranger!
Next week Georgia is re-opening, but schools will remain closed for the year. Some students have finished their academic year, and others are still working to improve their overall GPA. Parents will either return to work or remain at home to support their child during school hours and attend meetings. What are your plans? When will you get back out and physically interact with people? Will you continue to wear gloves and a mask? I believe that we all need to do what is best for our families, businesses, and the economy. You have the right to make your own decision, but so do others.
I have decided to re-enter the world slowly. I want to help small businesses and local restaurants. I don't know so much about getting a pedicure or manicure, but I wasn't really one to take time to do that in the past! These days at home have taught me a lot about myself, A LOT! I encourage each of you to think about what you have learned during your quarantine.
Fear consumes a lot of our society. My anxiety was high at the start of this pandemic. Ask my husband! What I found was that spending time with my family; taking walks with my sons; watching shows with my husband; reading books to my children, and playing with the dogs help me unwind. Attending cocktail cul-da-sac hour, sitting by our new firepit, making breakfasts (like eggs!) lunches and dinners, and playing board games helped me slow down. At first, I was nervous about homeschooling three children, two under the age of 8! Then I was worried about continuing my work with clients AND teaching my children. Next, I was concerned about all students and their future while working with my clients and teaching my children. As you can see, I was alarmed, and my fears began to pile up!
As days passed, I realized that my fear was not going to help me or anyone else! Nor was my anxiety, helping me think clearly. So, I began to realize that my fear was holding me back. I started enjoying my quarantine while working with my clients and spending time with family. I encouraged students to stay on their path, work hard, have fun, and be comfortable with not having an answer to their question(s). I saw an entirely different way of living once I, too, became comfortable with the unknown. I was not "surviving" but "thriving." Not every day was perfect, but perfection is overrated! So what next for me, you and our children? I don't know.
I don't have all the answers, but I do know that you need to applaud your child for their successes these past forty days. You can help your students stay positive and true to their academic goals. I encourage each one of you to continue supporting and talking to your child daily. Take pride in the time that we had to connect, re-engage, and re-build our family unit. Keep as many activities that you have created with your family going. Do not let the re-opening of our great state change the most valuable thing we have - family! And yes, please continue to wash your hands, eat well, and exercise.