The C in Covid Stands for Character Development

Anaam Amin, Karen Jean, and Elaina Gilsenan

As the one year anniversary of quarantine approaches, we reflect on how we’ve changed over the past 11 months. We’ve gained new perspectives, learned valuable lessons, and made deeper connections, just to name a few. How do you think you grew/changed during the pandemic?

Like flowers growing out of concrete, GH students find growth in hardship.

“In a sense, quarantine helped me grow into a more sociable person, which is pretty counterintuitive considering the fact that no one could talk to anyone in person, but I think it was the best thing for me to grow out of my element and get out of my comfort zone. I had a chance to meet new people and I took advantage of the virtual opportunities that connected me with like minded peers that I never would’ve met if not for the pandemic.” – Ben Yan, Grade 11

Ben Yan ’22


“I’ve had to put more effort into maintaining relationships, but quarantine has reminded me to reach out to some people I haven’t talked to in a while.” – Tiffanie Lee, Grade 12

“I became more independent and made new good friends and love myself now.” – Macie Ritter, Grade 12

Macie Ritter ’21

“I have found AMAZING friends online. I found them through mutuals and we have a really strong bond through the internet now. I have grown so much as a person with quarantine. I think internet friends are amazing because you can curate the best people in the area. I have gained friends from Panther Creek, Green Level, Enloe, and NRCA that I would have never met.” – Michael Sanda, Grade 10 


“Quarantine made me more of a homebody, you know. I was already one but even more because you know  being homie is fun. Strangers don’t talk to me when I go outside my house. OH MY GOD I love that. Best thing ever. No one says anything to me. Nothing they say nothing!!! But on a more serious note, I did get more serious about my art I guess you can say that I kinda have discovered myself more and made some positive changes towards my future, you know. To be honest it just made me be like oooop ok time to get real.” – Scola Mamboleo, Grade 12

Scola Mamboleo ’21

“It helped me distance from people I was afraid to distance myself from. I realized that friends shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself and should definitely support you. Therefore, I’ve cut off a bunch of people who didn’t have a positive in my life, even though I thought they were good for me previously. I’m happier now with my real friends.” -Rachel Yao, Grade 12


“I feel like the pandemic has created a lot of change for me when it comes to friendships. When there’s no in person school, you come to realize how many people you were only friends with solely because you were forced to see them everyday – not because your values aligned or the friendship was fulfilling. In a particular case: if people are ok with surrounding themself with racist and bigoted people while also calling themselves activists, then they’re not people I should be putting my care into. Overall, I’ve learned the importance of putting your energy into friendships that you’re proud of and make you sincerely happy.” – Anaam Amin, Grade 12

Anaam Amin ’21

“Throughout the pandemic, I think the way I changed the most was being more grateful and appreciative for various advantages I have. I realized that it’s important to never take anything for granted. Additionally, I became more invested in doing things I am passionate about and enjoy to keep myself busy and put myself in a better mood. Before the pandemic, I rarely put time into some things that I truly enjoy doing, but I realized during it how important it is to spend a lot of time on things that I love and determined to do.” – Haroon Gilani, Grade 11


“Throughout the pandemic I have become grateful for my health and my family’s health. I have also realized how lucky I am to have access to healthcare.” – Ali Waymouth, Grade 11


Ali Waymouth ’22

“Covid made me realize who my true friends were. When covid got a little better they started hanging out with different people and didn’t even try to see me. I was at first upset but then accepted it and let them go. It has also made me realize more about myself and what makes me happy. I was fine with the covid circumstances up until about November. I feel my days are getting longer and more boring as covid goes on so yeah it has also impacted mentally but I just keep looking forward to college.” – Margo Hinnant, Grade 12


Margo Hinnant ’21

“During the pandemic I have become more grateful for my family. I have really enjoyed getting to spend more time with them. I also have started to like outdoor activities much more. The most important thing that I have learned is that a small, genuine group of friends is much better than a larger, fake group of friends. I only surround myself with people that truly make me happy now.” – Elaina Gilsenan, Grade 11


Elaina Gilsenan ’22

“Quarantine has made me grow as a person more than anything else. It gave me time to really focus on myself and who I am. Before, I would be so distracted by trying to keep up with a friend group that was nothing but artificial. People in that group would be so focused on posting fake pics to try to show social media how much fun they were having or happy they were which was nothing but a lie to hide the real truth. Corona gave me an excuse and guts to distance myself from something I had been wanting to for such a long time but couldn’t get myself to. I came to learn there are so many more different ways to enjoy life than to party or fit the standard teenager life. When it comes to the point where you can just sit in silence and make it count is when you have realized that you have passed the shallow stage and understand true value. I’ve now found people that have so much to offer and are worth so much. Surrounding myself with people I genuinely vibe with and care for and know they are there for me in any situation is what’s given me real happiness. You know you have found the real ones when you can just sit on the ground doing nothing but talking to each other and enjoy it. I have focused on my health and on learning new things and being willing to interact with new and different people and that’s worth more than any party or picture.” – Karen Jean, Grade 12      

Karen Jean ’21 (left) Karen, Anaam, and Macie (right)

Quarantine has given Green Hope students the chance to self-reflect. Each student has been greatly impacted by Covid, and luckily most students learned valuable lessons and grew as people. Now we just wait and see what 2021 brings to us!