Prowl Staff Thanksgiving Reflections

Prowl Staff Thanksgiving Reflections

Cael: Amid my final year at South Windsor High School, as I cut through the tumultuous world of applying to colleges, what I hold gratitude for has shifted entirely. This year seemingly out of the blue came the surreal understanding that by next year I wouldn’t be just a South Windsor local. No longer waking up in the same bedroom I have for ages, no longer would a weekend spent “having fun” look ever the same, by next year my whole life spent parading across the empty suburbia of South Windsor will just be a footnote in my life. Therefore, within my final moments in what my middle schooler self would call a “provincial town” like I’m some pretentious main character in a coming of age movie, I choose to value the everyday. By the time of throwing my diploma in the air and gnawing at my grand entrance into college, I hope to have taken the time to appreciate the mundane. Yes, cleaning litter boxes, watching my sisters, and being told by my grandpa what colleges I “should” have applied to are chores. However, what I attempt to relay over these final months is the mantra, “take the time to recognize your love for the people and place within the little things, because it’s the little things that will never be the same.” 


Amritha: Covid was cold and barren, and felt somewhat like all of society had decided to go on a four month agonizing hibernation period. Socially undeveloped Gen Z, snuggles itself into its own casket. The one blinding effulgence through a mentally catastrophic time–is family. A light through a dark time that only few have been fortunate enough to have– a loving family cheering them on as they come out of their 4 month cocoon. I am one of those few lucky people. My mom is so adorable and spunky and sometimes feels more like a little sister to me. She is a little bubble of joy and pops onto everyone she comes in a 5 feet radius of. I’m grateful for her. Additionally, I’m grateful for nature, staring in awe at the earth’s capabilities and naturality. I’m grateful for the twists and turns of tutoring children at work. They are so willful, and when they do something bad, my heart can’t bear being mad at them. Those kids made me realize that I want to become a teacher. 


Sam: When I tell other teens that I work with small children they never fail to ask me, “Why?” The thought of having to deal with messy crafts, sticky fingers, and answering nonsensical questions is too much for some teens, but I couldn’t be more grateful for it. My kids have taught me the importance of patience and just how amazing innocence can be. When they ask me silly questions like, “Do you have a dad?” or “Where are you from?” it reminds me just how great their innocent minds are, how their curiosity is organic and hasn’t yet been tainted by the cruelty of the world. They have made me become so patient, as I have learned that sometimes you just need time to take a deep breath, which is something I really just need to be reminded of. Spending everyday with them has made me learn to just take everything for what it is, that sometimes plans can change and that’s ok. I have grown to appreciate young minds and adopt their carefree attitude for certain things. I look forward to seeing them everyday and seeing their smiles when they say “Hello Miss Sam!” because how cute is it to be called that! Everytime I hear that “Miss Sam” it makes me feel so great. Also, I just really appreciate my co-workers. They make my work fun and I never dread coming into work, which is something I know many people cannot say. I love when they offer me Chick-Fil-A or when they wait with me while my ride is late. They never take anything too seriously, because how could you when you work with kids? They make me laugh everyday and are genuinely just some really great people. I’m grateful to have this job and these people in my life! 


Angelina: I’ve always been thankful for my family, but this year I’m especially thankful for the time I have with my siblings. Although when both of them are in college, I will see them on holidays and some weekends. I know they are going to do big things and become great people and this is just a chapter in their life, but being the youngest, I’m still being selfish, and wishing they didn’t have to go. My older brother is already in college, and it’s only been three months, but when I see him, I feel like I’m already missing out on something. As if he’s a person visiting my house for the weekend, using all of our stuff and eating dinner with us. Being the holidays, he is back home for a little while, and I’m happy to be under the same roof as him. Also, I’m extremely grateful for my sister’s license, because she is my personal uber. But when it comes down to it, anybody can drive me places, but having my sister to drive me is different. While we are busy in our own lives, the ten minute drive to school and back or the drive to sports and friends houses, we bond and talk and laugh. I don’t tell my sister and brother enough that I’m so thankful I have them. Personally, if I didn’t have my siblings, I don’t know where I would be. Whether it’s a sport I play because my sister played it, or friends I made because I’m “Bellizzis sister”, I am so thankful for them this Thanksgiving, and love them a lot. 


Jack: This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the stress that school has brought me. Now don’t get me wrong, school is draining, frustrating and bland, but the stress made my mind expand. With all of the essays, and long homework assignments, school was really jamming itself into my tiny little brain at the time where I thought I couldn’t handle anything else. But when I began to realize the progress I had made from that current position compared to middle school, I was shocked. I could now write and utilize words I never knew in middle school. I could now comprehend information and view the overarching concepts within classes. I could now understand that stress wasn’t all that bad because it was just inflating my capacity and capability to comprehend and handle the work itself. If more stress hadn’t helped me get rid of stress, my mind would not have evolved.  


Riley: This year, I want to acknowledge how grateful I am for my close friends and family. The world went through a drastic change last year. It was amazing to have people that stuck with me the entire way, people who truly care and pick you up and help through everything. My family went through a tragic loss of my mother in 2019, and we were still adjusting going into the start of the pandemic. Having people that were with me through all of these hardships shows me how much I am loved. I am so grateful for those who have not left my side through all the losses and changes. It is important to sit and think about how much my close friends and family have helped hold me together. Now that we are getting back into normalcy, I am really starting to see the care these people have for me and my family. Words can not express how grateful I am to have such an amazing support system. 


Emily: Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. From the good food, to the Macy’s parade, to spending time with family – especially family. Since before I can remember, everyone in my extended family came over my house for thanksgiving, and we simply just hung out and ate food together. However, over the past few years, the number of people attending has gotten smaller and smaller. From my cousins moving away a few years ago, to my grandparents not coming because of Covid, to the passing of my uncle earlier this year. Seeing the number of family members deteriorate over the years has only made me more thankful for the time we have together. My family was never very big or very close to begin with, but we all still love and cherish each other to a great extent. And although it is a basic topic, I am thankful for my family. 


John: This year I am really grateful for my family because they are always there for me and will always encourage me to do well even during the pandemic. I honestly do not know how I would be where I am today without them. They have just been so amazing over the course of my life, and I’m blessed to have them around. Also, I’m grateful for my car because it gets me from A to B safely whenever I need it to. This school year, I’m also grateful for my friends who are supportive and always cheer me up when I’m down.  I am also thankful for the free chicken with rice school meal and my family dinner of stir fry. I’m grateful for Thanksgiving and all the other holidays to spend time with the ones you love.  With 2021 about to be over, I’m really looking forward to 2022 to hopefully be another great year everyone.  And this is everyone and everything I am grateful for over the years. 


David: This year I’m grateful for my family. Obviously you will be grateful to your family any year but this year has a different kind of feel to it after a year of panic, quarantine, and isolation. Having the world opening back up and being able to see relatives you haven’t seen has been amazing so far. My relatives haven’t been able to see me play or even grow over the past year and being able to have them be present in my life again has been great. After a year where we couldn’t do Thanksgiving or Christmas, it will be great to see them tomorrow for Thanksgiving and in about a month for Christmas. Going a year without seeing some of your family has been truly weird, people who you see at some points every year haven’t been present in your life and that can be tough. When I see them again soon I will be reminded how great a family is and why that is the thing I am most grateful for.


Mike:  This year I am grateful for my friends and family.  Throughout the pandemic, everyone has had their shares of ups and downs, and to me it feels as if I had well over my share.  I am thankful for the people who are close to me for helping me through that.  I am grateful that my friends and I have been able to still have a good relationship through this pandemic.  And I am thankful they found ways for us to still see each other throughout the pandemic so holidays didn’t feel lonely.  And I am thankful that I am still able to see my friends and family now towards the end of the pandemic.  


Kyle: The thing I have been most grateful for this year is the internet. Throughout this endless pandemic, the Internet gifted me with tools and entertainment that wouldn’t be possible without it. I’ve been lucky to be able to collaborate with many people musically from around the world in the past few years, which has led to the possibility of a career budding from my work. The Internet has also given me access to almost infinite amounts of entertainment and laughs throughout quarantine. TikTok, YouTube, and Disney+ have let me explore the world from the comfort of my couch, and has allowed me to go to school in my pajamas in my bed. I’m thankful that the Internet has given me all of these amazing tools for me to use to help me navigate through these unprecedented times.


Ava: One thing I felt grateful for this year was the stars in the sky. The night sky is a beautiful occurence that we are lucky enough to see every night. Looking into the night sky makes me feel like I can be anywhere in the world, because somewhere somehow, someone else is looking at the same stars, and same moon, I see. All the stars we see in the sky , most are much bigger than our planet we live on, and witness the stars from. Many nights laying on the beach looking at the stars, many nights laying on the basketball court at camp at 1am looking at the stars, laying on the roof of the car looking at the stars, and just standing outside, to simply look at the stars. The stars have always been a constant in my life, through bad and good times, and cold and warm times. The stars will forever be there for me. 


Max: Over this long and exhausting year, only one thing is certain in my life; when I get home, four dogs will rush the door to say hello. Without a single regard for a tough test, a bad day, or any other hardship during my day, there are four faces pushing at the heavy wooden door, howling and barking. Dogs don’t hold grudges, they don’t judge, they don’t feel jealous, they just welcome with open paws. Coming home on the toughest of days, it brings a small smile to my face to see four creatures fighting with each other over who gets to say hello to me first. It’s almost as if they transport me to a better place, especially ironic given their place names. Some may say that I am a hoarder of four of these warm and welcoming creatures, but I think collecting is a better, more positive term. I feel so grateful for my collection of dogs, for they make all the pain in a day disappear. The pitbull, Brooklyn, leads the others, almost as a teacher. The Catahoula, Bronx, is overly attached, never being more than a foot away. The hound, Hampton, is playful, loving to play fetch albeit backwards, The Feist has learned to be a dog, coming from an abusive home without human contact. As moronic and childish as it sounds, those dogs are the brightest part of my day, and I’m incredibly thankful for having them. 


Bella: Something I am grateful for this year is my friends. Obviously it’s friends, everyone is grateful to have friends any year but I’m especially grateful for them this year. When I moved here, I felt like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me. Everyone assumed I was like everyone else from my hometown and they were not welcoming to me coming to their school. One girl in particular named Willa decided to be my friend. I felt so alone and scared about being in a new place, but Willa talking to me and letting me hang out with her changed everything. I finally feel like I fit in and belong here. I owe that feeling all to Willa. I just want to say thank you so much for taking that extra step no one else wanted to take. I am forever grateful. I will never forget the kindness you showed me. Thanks again for being my best friend. I love you bestie. 


Mikaylee: This year I realized my gratitude for the sport of football. It’s been something that ties all of my family and friends together. I’ve worked with many people and helped with teams since middle school and have met so many amazing people in the process. This year especially, managing for the first time in highschool exceeded my expectations and my team’s made me a part of a new family. Each coach, and each player, has made an impact on me and is the reason I enjoy what I do. Every Friday night under the lights, and every Sunday in front of the screen, the people I’m surrounded by make it so amazing and though I never have and never will play the sport, I have loved being on the outside of it for as long as I can remember. Football brings my family together to watch big games and enjoy eachothers company. Football brings together all my friends to watch and support our community. Though it may seem silly for me to say I’m thankful for football, that is how I feel, it’s brought me to people I’d have never talked to otherwise, and formed better relationships with people I struggled with. So, this year, I am grateful for football.