Have you ever seen the movie Inside Out? For those who haven’t, the movie features different characters representing emotions in the mind of Riley, a pre-teen girl. The sophomore retreat that I attended focused on primary emotions and explored different variations. We broke down key feelings such as happy, surprised, bad, angry, fearful, disgusted, and sad. Each emotion was then broken down into categories and subcategories. For example, some happy feelings are peaceful and thankful while others are joyful and optimistic. We then wrote down our own personal experiences with these key emotions and how we responded to them. One of my examples is that I felt joyful when I got a puppy.
Clara Johnson, the speaker of the retreat also mentioned loss, which was another key emotion that was categorized separately. Through COVID-19, our school community has experienced many losses. Some of the losses such as illness or even the death of loved ones are individual while others affect us all together, such as not being able to gather in groups and host annual events. I personally felt that this retreat was a valuable experience because we all tend to get wrapped up in our feelings and it can be helpful to distinguish them. Reflecting on loss can give closure to the harsh realities of COVID-19. Although I think we will never return to exactly the same place we were before COVID-19, I am hopeful that next year will be a renewal of our community as we finally recover from the effects of the pandemic.