The last twelve months have created a lot of challenges for all of us. The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce gained the perspective of the twenty-five high school students participating in Youth Leadership Carroll County (YLCC) as they identified changes and how these changes affected their lifestyles during the past year.
Following are a few words of wisdom and observations from the YLCC Class of 2020-2021:
The first thing students remember that changed a lot was the freedom to go places; for example, no longer going to eat in restaurants or attending school in person. They almost unanimously cited missing interaction with their friends on a regular basis or being unable to ask teachers for help with virtual or home-school assignments.
The activities that students were most upset about being cancelled during the past year covered a wide range of events. The cancellation of conventions, like Girls’ State and Beta Convention, were high on the list, and traditional spring events like softball and baseball seasons, marching season, and prom were also frequently listed.
Students learned a lot about themselves—and about family relationships. Many admitted that they are not good at “staying put” for an extended period and need social interaction. Some discovered that their families were loud, a brother plays too many video games, and they must create space from each other sometimes. In the end, though, they learned that families are stronger together, that a dad can be a best friend, and even parents cry on occasion.
The past year has been difficult for all of us. In the new year, the YLCC students are looking to move forward—turning eighteen, graduating, attending college, meeting new people. Their hopes are for fewer deaths from Covid and a happier world. And, as with all of us, they are ready to eat in a restaurant, go to school, and visit with friends and family face-to-face. In short, they, like everyone else, are looking forward to a return to normalcy.
The Chamber is certainly looking forward to a return to normalcy.