This past year has been one of the most unpredictable years in recent memory. As the year comes to a close, the world looks more different than we could have ever imagined. In addition, Concord Academy looks more different than we ever expected. CA has had to make a lot of changes recently, changes that nobody wanted, but have absolutely been necessary. With that said, this past year has taught us a lot. With everyone in a completely foriegn situation, we were taught lessons that we didn’t know we needed. 

With all the time spent in their homes, CA students have realized the value of seemingly routine interactions. Not being able to be on campus and see people in person has been perhaps the most consequential change that the pandemic has brought. Quarantine has kept everyone in their own homes for months on end, and to this day, public interactions are still very far from normal due to restrictions such as masks, and social distancing. Late nights in the St-Fac, mid-day snack runs, and weekend shenanigans have become fond memories from the past. It’s easy to overlook it in the moment, but time spent enjoying the company of friends and teachers at CA is precious. And, before we know it, our time here will be up. For last year’s seniors, it was over faster than they expected. It’s important to spend time with the special people in this community, and appreciate every moment that passes.

The events of the past year have also taught us how to be flexible, and conquer challenges we have never faced before. The situation we are currently in has forced people to live their day-to-day lives in new ways. For CA students, this means attending classes on Zoom, giving chapels in front of only a few friends, and trying to unite a community that cannot be in the same room. These are just a few of the challenges the CA community has faced, and so far, the community has been able to overcome them. Classes done virtually are run smoothly and efficiently, much like they were when everyone was in person. Seniors have embraced the new form of giving chapels, and still deliver powerful messages to the community. More and more clubs have been created, and it seems like every night, there are countless opportunities for students and staff alike to come together via clubs, meetings and events. The community has overcome every obstacle, and through it all, we have grown more and more resilient.

Finally, we have learned not to take anything for granted. At the start of 2020, people saw life at CA as a constant; something that happened over and over every day, without failure. But rarely did people stop and take a moment to appreciate everything that CA has to offer. And certainly, CA has so much to offer. Whether it’s something big, like the opportunity to pursue a language or an art, or something small, like the grass of the quad, or the desserts in the Stu-Fac, so many aspects of CA become so regular, so everyday, that people stop appreciating them. And now that a lot of these aspects have been taken away, many have started to realize how they have been taken for granted for a long time. Now, people wish for one more game of spikeball, one more play in the PAC, one more morning with the whole school gathered in the chapel. And hopefully soon, those wishes will be granted. At some point, life will return to normal, and CA life will as well. But when it does, we need to remember what the past twelve months have taught us. Spend time with the amazing people on campus. Meet challenges head on, and don’t let them defeat you. And always remember to take a moment to appreciate the things that make CA so special. 

Photo courtesy of Sonny Tang ’22 | Photo Editor at The Centipede