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Karinne, Age 16, Colorado, USA

In the last 13 weeks I have learned how important family is.

In the last 13 weeks I have learned how important family is. I did not know how much I took for granted family dinners and late night movie sleepovers with my sister. For me, these past weeks were more about mending relationships than being sad about missing time with friends.

In this time I was able to do double the amount of things with my family than we can ever do in a summer or winter break. In all of this I am very thankful for the time I got to spend with my family and the time I got alone to improve my mental strength and meditation. A big accomplishment for all of this is I became a very mentally strong athlete, but let me tell you, if you want to test your mental strength, go on a 4 mile run uphill with just yourself, that was a hard day.

Looking towards the future, I am about to start my senior year. Whether it is online or in-person I believe my relationship with my friends will be stronger because we have been apart for so long yet we still want the best for each other and care about each other’s mental and physical well-being. I believe I look at the game of soccer in an entirely different way because of the last 13 weeks. It is not just something on the schedule for the week; it has now become my time outside, my time away from media, family, friends, and school. I need this time to reevaluate my priorities and how I see the world. I believe COVID-19 changed me for the better.

I know our world has a long way to go but I am invested in the world’s future and I believe there are so many others who are, too.

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