Letter to Future Students

To future dreamers, work-aholics, writers, athletes, gamers, and anyone else who comes across this message,

It is Thursday, May 7, 2020. Around the middle of March, much of the United States began quarantine in an attempt to dampen the spread of COVID-19, the first global pandemic that the world has seen since the Spanish Flu of 1918. You might remember this time as either the era of online classes or relaxation in a seemingly never-ending period of homebodies in solitude. However, as a junior at St. Xavier High School, I have spent much of this time in deep reflection of the world around me and the purpose for which I drive incessantly through life.

Looking around at the sidewalks that weave throughout my neighborhood, I don’t wait more than 15 seconds before I see someone walking, running, or cycling by, enjoying the sunlight and the extra time to realize the beauty of life around them. At first, I thought nothing of this huge surge in exercise. I simply thought that people had nothing better to do, so they might as well kill some time in the outdoors. However, I think there is a deeper lesson than that. While there is great suffering during this time, including business failures and a rising death toll every day, this period has given much of the population a time to step back from their daily life and evaluate their current path. With this extra time, I feel like people have begun to appreciate the importance of pulling our minds away from the stressors of our lives and simply enjoying what lies around us.

Don’t get me wrong, this time has been a major drag in much of my daily life, but I have also been able to spend much more time with my family each day. In the days before being trapped in one place, I felt as if my life was racing past me. It was as if I was experiencing my lifetime’s memories as a movie critic, watching events and quickly judging how well they turned out. Now, I spend more time talking with my mom, playing with my little brother, and joking around with my sister about how good frozen strawberries are (seriously, you need to try them… hold on, I’ll be right back).

In the midst of global anxiety and uncertainty, people are able to find comfort within their families and the escape from a never ending pile of work. From a person who was under this house arrest for multiple months, please consider these things: life is not all about what is going to happen, there is so much value in family, spending time alone isn’t a bad thing, it’s an opportunity, and everyone around you lives a temporary life, so cherish it. Hopefully the world learns something by the time this all ends. If it does, let me know.

A sometimes dramatic student previously in your position,

Greyson Wintergerst