This week's article is slightly different as we focus on the topic of ‘Reflection,’ this is the act of thinking deeply or carefully about something. Take a moment to think about what reflection means to you, how do you reflect on your ideas?
Sometimes we might not realise how important reflection is and how much it enables us to relax and take the time out to concentrate on our minds, our thoughts and our recent actions. I believe we all have different forms of reflecting whether that maybe during prayer or meditation or even just sitting on your bed at the end of the day to think back to what you have accomplished.
I feel that now, in 2021, after a very difficult year we must take the time out to take in all that has happened. Maybe try taking even 2 minutes out to reflect on what you aspire to do in 2021, make it happen because I believe that you can do it!
Please take the time out to read three lovely responses from year 11 students who talk about their thoughts and experiences of Reflection:
“To me reflection is a hard but an important thing. Especially in times like these there is no getting past the fact of 2020 and the issues or struggles created in its whirlwind of chaos. I would like to leave 2020 as a distant memory, we all went through highs and lows. But you need to face the past in order to live in 2021, so if anyone reads this I urge you to reflect. Every person has lived a different version of events and my heart goes out to anyone who really struggled and is still struggling. Reflection can stand as a looming reality which you would rather ignore but it can also rebuild who you are. You got through 2020, you were strong and patient and brave, and I know with my whole heart 2021 is going to be your year.”
“When taking time to reflect, I find that it can be easy for the negative things to cloud the positives. Particularly during the past few months, we have had more time alone to overthink certain situations. There have been times where I have felt quite isolated and when feeling like this I tend to submerge my thoughts into negativity. This is why I believe it is so important to take the time to ask yourself why you are feeling the way you do and how to change your mindset. Reflection is important when it comes to changing your perspective on a certain situation. Trying to find any beneficial aspects of something that might have been unsuccessful. Learning from an unpleasant experience that may have taught you an important lesson in life. I am trying to focus on the positives coming into 2021. I feel that last year I spent too much time contemplating certain decisions or actions from the past that cannot be changed, no matter how many times I go over them in my head. I’m glad that now I can spend time reflecting with something good to take away from every experience.”
“Reflection. It isn’t easy in such crazy times. No need to elaborate there. I believe that the action of reflection takes an abundant number of forms depending on time of day, personal preference and what you’re reflecting on. For example, when you lay in bed about to fall asleep but you remember something embarrassing you did 4 years ago, not pleasant - but still reflection. Personally, and I think the same is for most of you too, plugging in my earphones and listening to my depression playlist also enhances my ability to reflect and reminisce about days and months and years that have flown by or even dragged passed for some of you. However, in this case, reflecting and reminiscing are different acts. I feel that reminiscing is the first stage of reflection. The next stage is whether or not it is a moment, emotion a/o period where you can learn from it and work on it in the future. Note that there can be more stages like starting habits of productivity of to-do lists and meditation (which I really enjoy) that can become a present, active movement in making changes and building on yourself.
On New Years, as I teared up watching the fireworks with my family thinking ‘I have been robbed of one of the most important chunks of my teenage years’, I attempted to turn to my resolutions to get my mind into a forward-thinking manner. That said, I am not one to dwell on the past or one to look back favouringly. I do not wish to think about that that has already happened but I do believe that reflection is important if you wish to grow as best and as happy as you can into the best version of yourself. Resolutions can help you with this and as the year progresses you can add more once past ones become intertwined with your daily lifestyle. Tip: be specific, you can start whenever and you can take as much time as you need. I write this piece 10 days into 2021(almost wrote 2020!) and I am already struggling to keep up my own resolutions of: message your friends more and spend less money (save at least £20 of my monthly allowance). I started these because I need to practice self-control and to learn to cherish my most loving relationships.
As we bang on into this new term of online learning and isolation, try to use it as another opportunity to reflect on what you need to become the best version of yourself (if the first lockdown wasn’t very successful). Although change doesn’t seem all possible right now, we have faith that we will all change for the better or the worse again but it doesn’t matter because it’s all just steps to become that best version. Keep reflecting. Keep learning. It’s easy to lose yourself so maybe look in the mirror and ask yourself what you can do. It can be anything like doing your hobbies more. If you can, take advantage of this aloneness and improve your existence as an independent being.
Remember. It is what it is.”
I hope reading some of these different views of reflection has taught you something or perhaps you have read something you can relate to. Perhaps ask yourself how you felt watching the fireworks on New Years. Personally as hard as it was to accept that we were approaching 2021 after facing many hardships, we were all entering as stronger individuals.
So please remember you are not alone and keep in touch with your family, friends, neighbours to see how they are doing. Perhaps try reflecting together, share your feelings and thoughts; I promise it will make you feel better and ready to achieve all your goals!