Summer of Silver Linings


Maya Alatin (21’) and sister Shira Alatin (23’) spending time with family in Colorado.

Abby Cowan

Every year, many Emery students make the most of their summer vacations. Whether they are going to camp, travelling, working, interning, or volunteering, students always return to campus in the fall with incredible summer stories. The pandemic, however, put a wrench in many students’ summer plans. While most of the students’ opportunities fell through, they were able to adapt and find the silver linings in the situations. 

It was supposed to be Junior Noa Strauss’ last summer at Camp Ramah in California. “It was a bummer [it was cancelled] because it was supposed to be a tradition-filled year and the last year our age group had all together,” Strauss explained,  “but my best friends in the world from camp and I still found a way to get together for two and a half weeks and hang out.” She described this part of her summer as “different, but still really fun.” Strauss also took advantage of her time in Houston this summer by volunteering in the community. 

“It has been hard to find ways to volunteer because of the pandemic, but on days that I was free my friends and I went on the [Houston] Food Bank website to sign up to volunteer,” Strauss said. Strauss was not the only student who found silver linings this summer.

Senior Maya Alatin also adapted to the derailment of her summer plans. “Initially I was planning on being a CIT [Counselor in Training] at [Camp] CYJ, and I was also going to go to Israel with my family. Both of those things, unfortunately, got cancelled,” Alatin recalled. On the bright side, Alatin’s Israeli Scouts program adapted to the situation and she explained,  “we were fortunate enough to just move online, and it worked out great.” 

Despite complications, multiple silver linings emerged for Alatin. Over the course of the pandemic, Alatin was able to “appreciate nature more by going on walks, and taking care of myself. I was not stressing about school as much and was also working out, eating healthy, and finding other hobbies outside of school and my extracurriculars.” The most important realization Alatin articulated about her quarantined summer was that she got a chance to be with her family, which she didn’t realize was so important. “We started watching shows together, cooking together, and just really bonding.”

While this summer could not have been more unconventional, many Emery students still made the most of their time off from school. Students dealt with a summer full of surprise cancellations, and sought out opportunities for new experiences. Most importantly, they learned how to appreciate the silver linings that came with it all.