student writing contest

We invited student’s across Miami to enter our writing contest. We wanted to see how the pandemic has affected the children. Below are our three finalists. The winner will be featured in an upcoming issue of 305 Hive and the winning school will receive a $250 donation.

Vanessa Smoleny

Palmer Trinity – 8th grade

The global pandemic has changed my life in many different ways. One minute I’m skating and going to school with my friends and suddenly the next second it feels like it’s illegal to even be coughing. My whole life changed in the blink of an eye, and I took so much for granted.

I took many things that we do on a daily basis for granted. For example, when I found out I couldn’t do one of the things I love the most, ice skating, it felt like my heart shattered into a million different pieces. When was the bad news going to end! First, we had to go on lockdown and now skating practice was cancelled. Skating was my escape whenever I was feeling upset or sad. Skating was what I did even when I was having a good day. But now it was completely taken away. I felt so heartbroken and upset.

I was very upset and it was just so hard for me every day just doing online school and nothing after. It was also hard to not have any contact with others besides my family. I was so devastated and hurt. So then my parents came up with an idea for some family time. Family walks. At first I honestly hated these so much. I would think to myself “ugh family walk time” and say “I don’t want to go, Mom”.  I really disliked these walks. But after a while, I started to appreciate those 30 minute walks every day. After a while, something about it just felt so relaxing and just felt like things were sort of back to normal.

Something about the walks made me feel like a sense of community. Seeing other people out on the streets waving hello made me feel like we were all in this together and that we are all united. I feel like this pandemic did make us closer in a way. It made me have a sense of hope.

After this experience, I learned something very important. I learned that to never take things for granted and that you will never know if you like something unless you really try it. I also learned that we are a community and we became more united because of this. COVID-19 has really helped me realize how grateful I am to have such a loving family and good friends.

Briana Augsten

Pinecrest Elementary5th grade

The pandemic has impacted me in both positive and negative ways. Some of the positive ways have been less school, family time and lots of exercise. Some of the negative ways have been not seeing friends or extended family, not leaving the house and seeing the death tolls. I can’t believe it’s been six months!

At first, when school got cancelled, everyone was happy. After a few weeks, I could not last another second inside. As we watched the news the death toll kept rising as the virus kept spreading. This had a negative effect on me and my family. It was very sad to see all the people dying. Sadly, they were separated from their families and they died alone. Since the virus kept spreading, I was not able to see my extended family and friends. I was stuck inside with my brothers. As summer went by, I realized my summer plans were gone and we were not able to travel anywhere. In Miami the rainy season starts in the summer. This made me sad because I knew that I would not be able to go outside to play. Soon enough it was the beginning of a new school year, but school was now online, and I still could not see my friends.

The pandemic also affected me in positive ways. Being able to spend time with my family was very enjoyable. Every day I played games, watched TV, played with my brothers, or went exercising with someone from my family. We would do daily bike rides around my neighborhood or daily walks early in the pandemic. I also got good at rollerblading with my mom. As a family my dad would have us all doing yardwork and I have a large yard, so it never ends. Also having my three brothers around was very entertaining and I never got bored. Every few minutes me and my brothers would come running by my parents with a nerf gun, dinosaur or even a Lego helicopter. I would help my brothers with their schoolwork and daily reading. My parent taught me and my brothers a lot of things during the pandemic. I was able to teach myself a lot of new things. Some of the things I have learned are how to start a website, the alphabet in sign language, and how to start a business.

Overall, the pandemic was a positive and negative experience for me. To have to wear a mask in public is something I will never get used to. In the end, me and my family are lucky we are still healthy.

Mattie Barfield

Ransom Everglades – 12th grade

When covid hit, I got super into painting. I went to Michael’s and bought as much stuff as I could–canvasses, acrylic paints, paint brushes, painting tools and palates. 

My favorite thing to paint is the female body. Not the entire body, just neck to knees. I don’t like to use pictures to inspire me; I prefer to paint what’s in my head. The first painting I did when we were forced to shelter in place was society’s ideal woman. She was curvy, big breasted, big backside, skinny waist, and a thigh gap. People tell me I have the ideal body, but I just don’t see it. When I look in the mirror, I see imperfections. 

With every brushstroke, I realized the woman I was painting, this ideal woman, also had imperfections. First of all, she had no brain. Secondly, she had no wrinkles or rolls, stretch marks, moles or freckles. She had an hourglass figure that I’ve rarely seen in a natural woman. As I continued to paint, I realized society had given me this picture and she was fake. I stepped back and stared at the finished painting and it hit me: Women are more than just a body. 

I’d convinced myself she was the ideal woman, and had compared myself to her. The second I realized this, I began to forgive my imperfections and actually appreciate them. 

Before Covid, I looked for the imperfections in myself and others. Since Covid, I am able to admire imperfections in everyone.