Each day when I’m greeted by their smiling faces, I always know that I will be in for a new surprise. The air is filled with jokes, compliments or complaints about homework. Often their chatter can get pretty loud, and I find myself reminding them to save some of their energy for the rest of the day. There is always something to talk about, but typically I am told the stories from their past. These stories range from third grade to now, and they are used to help define their unique and intricate relationships. Whether it’s class field trips or their escapades at the park, each situation from the past is always featured as the funny story of the day. Because of these moments, they are constantly reflective on the events that define their current and changing identity.
They are passionate about so many things, and even more passionate to share with their classmates about them. One person’s excitement can either unite the class into deeper conversation or divide them into a strong debate. But, regardless of their opinions, they always find ways to acknowledge and support the interests of their peers.
I never expect to be noticed in their conversations, but each day I am shown the many ways in which my presence is acknowledged. I know that my presence in their lives is not necessary, but I am humbled to be a part of their experiences.
So, let’s cut to the chase. Why do YOU need to repeat seventh grade? Well, when was the last time you’ve engaged in conversations that has made you stop and think about how much you’ve changed and grown over the years? Or what are you so passionate about that you’re willing to share it fearlessly with everyone around you? How do you create space to acknowledge and show appreciation for those around you?
Don’t take it personally, but if you’re having trouble answering these questions … then I think you just might need to repeat seventh grade.
Every day isn’t easy in seventh grade, and sometimes the class can get carried away by the frustrations of a challenging day. But I hope today’s frustrations will be next year’s bonding moments of joy.
I’m thankful to spend every day in seventh grade, and I’m inspired to rekindle passions in my own life and share this love and passion with the lives of those who have woven with mine.
Kayla Little is a first-year LV serving at La Salle Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a 2020 graduate of Christian Brothers University with a degree in psychology.