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Maya, 14

The world is changing drastically in ways I do not completely understand. Adults say we are living through a part of history, but we cannot predict what the future will bring, just like how I know who I am now but not who I will become. All I know-all that I can know-is the heat of my breath on my face under a cloth mask, fogging up my glasses; the whirring of my laptop computer in online classroom sessions, a sea of my classmates’ faces, in their homes, in hoodies and pajamas; the sound of my younger brother’s laughter and cheers, muffled from his bedroom, which he hardly leaves, as he plays video games with friends he can’t see; the gloves and mask that my Granny wears when cautiously visiting our house. I recognize that I am privileged to know these things. There are students whose educations are falling behind because of lack of access to both physical classrooms and digital resources. There are kids whose parents must leave the house everyday for work, potentially exposing themselves to the virus, but my parents work from home. There are the homeless, with no shelter to shield them, and those who live alone, with no one to keep them company. And then there are those who work on the front lines, in hospitals. Who are constantly overworked and overstressed. For me, some things have stayed the same. Like the smell of wet grass after the rain, the sound of the singing birds that flit about the trees. But I know other things won’t ever be the same. I know I will have to adapt and stay vigilant. So I hang on to the hope that the future will be brighter, even if things don’t look the same as they used to. 



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