roots of a plant growing

Hello,

I hope this finds you well.

Scratch that. You don’t deserve a message that’s similar to a business-like email. (You’ve probably received too many of those greetings, anyway.)

Instead, treat this message like a text from a friend (except longer and probably more grammatically correct).

So, let’s start again.

Hello, how are you? This year has been A LOT, hasn’t it? Remember when we thought Cats would be the only horrifying thing we would deal with as we entered a new decade? Clearly, we were wrong.

We’ve seen so much tragedy in the past few months: wildfires in Australia, a plane crash in Iran, a plane crash in India, deadly shootings in Nova Scotia, ongoing protests in Hong Kong, ongoing global Black Lives Matter protests, ongoing protests in Belarus, the explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, and so, so, so much more.

As much as we want to, we can’t forget about the elephant in the room either: coronavirus. A virus that so many of us were hoping would be eradicated by now, but now seems to have no end in sight.

I get it — it’s super tiring to talk about. I myself have taken breaks from reading speculative COVID-19 articles and keeping up with global stats.

But the fact still remains: It has impacted all of our lives in some sort of way. Our day to day lives have changed. Some of us know people who have gotten it, or have tragically died from it. Some of us may have even gotten it ourselves. 

We also live in constant fear of the unknown because of it: What’s going to happen in the autumn and winter? Will a vaccine be ready soon? When will this end? How much more of this can I possibly take? 

It might be a lot to take in right now. After all, everything else that’s happening around us has already been so much to comprehend. Combining all that with COVID is even more exasperating. There are so many changes that we must continue to adapt to. 

And so, it’s no wonder that we can end up feeling exhausted, unfocused, anxious, and hopeless.

I want to remind you that all of what you might be feeling is valid. As you have too often heard, “these are unprecedented times.” And you are not alone in this.

That is why we chose persistence as the theme for the inaugural issue of Youth Mind. We wanted to help readers, like you, to persist in the changes that come in their way, and to remind you that you are not alone in feeling the way you may feel.

Whether it’s adapting to working or doing school online, combating climate change (yes, that’s still a thing), combating systemic racism (also still a thing), improving our own physical and mental health while we’re indoors — we wanted to provide you a resource that can help you with such needs, while also highlighting the stories of young people who understand what you’re going through. 

As Chanel Miller said in her debut memoir, “It is not a question of if you will survive this, but what beautiful things await you when you do.”

And I hope, dear reader and friend, that as you read this issue, you will not only be educated, but feel hopeful and empowered to “survive this,” to persist. That alone is worth celebrating. 

I truly wish you the best.

Talk soon!

Ramona

P.S. Don’t feel like you have to leave me on read, either. Feel free to submit a letter to the editor at editor@youthmind.oldf.org

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