Finding Reflection Time in a Busy Schedule

A+Montrose+seventh+grader+prays+in+the+chapel+during+daily+Mass.

(Credit: Montrose School)

A Montrose seventh grader prays in the chapel during daily Mass.

Theresa Marcucci '23, Staff Writer

How do we find time for reflection when life is so busy?

This year has brought many changes to our daily life. We now have 85 minute classes. For some, school starts later; for others, it ends earlier. New athletic opportunities, clubs, and activities have been added. There are some things we can’t do anymore, like share food or give hugs. All the ways we used to run our lives have changed. Amid all these changes and the new load of work, it can be really difficult to find time for quiet reflection by ourselves. But is it possible?

One altered aspect of life this year is the Mass routine. While the prayers and priests for Mass remain the same, it’s a little bit more spacious. The new classroom options have allowed us to remain six feet apart and still attend Mass. A challenge that many people have found is that they have little to no time in the chapel. Many people used to take time for reflection during and after Mass, finding the chapel to be a perfect place for quiet prayer. But there is no longer as much space in the chapel and the time after Mass is always busy. Elyza Tuan ‘23 said, “ I only get to sit in the chapel half the time and when I would usually sit for a few minutes after, I don’t get the chance anymore.” The one-way hallways add to the confusion, making it harder to get from Mass to class, which reduces time to pray in the chapel. Maddy Kerr ‘25 said, “Because it takes us longer to get to classes because of one-way hallways and staircases, we don’t have as much time.” Snack is now included inside a class period, so the possibility of being late to the class after enrichment is even more prevalent. Lucy Bachiochi ‘23 said, “We don’t have snack, so now I am worried if I am going to be late to my next class.” 

As an alternative to praying in the chapel after Mass, we can use a study block for a little field trip to our handy-dandy chapel. However, while most upper schoolers have an extra study because of the added eighth block, middle schoolers only have the student life period in the afternoon. When asked about using this study for reflection, one middle schooler simply answered “huh.” Perhaps some students have not thought about finding time for quiet reflection, which may stem from our jam-packed schedules and the long amount of time we spend on homework. The upper schoolers who do have studies prefer to use them for homework, socializing and other tasks. Studies are valuable time for people with busy schedules to get work done. Sophie Cronin ‘23 said, “Since I have so much going on out of school with basketball, I need to use studies to get homework done.” The longer studies are also very helpful for getting deep work done. With classes double the length, double the number of studies helps students to keep up with the work. Gabriella Bachiochi ‘21 said, “I like having more studies where I can really refocus and work hard on what I need to get done.”

While most people think we have less time for quiet time, I think this new schedule allows for a few extra moments of reflection. With the later start time for upper schoolers, there is a longer window of time between the school building opening and first period. Upper schoolers especially can come in ten minutes earlier to allow for a little reflective time in the chapel before school starts. Catherine Betinelli ‘21 said, “I like to take some of this time and go to the chapel to reflect and pray.” Or for middle schoolers, the extra time at the end of the day before or after sports practice offers an option to spend some time in the chapel. And, of course, we have a whole day off! Along with doing homework on Wednesdays, you can spend some time reflecting or praying at home to recharge for the rest of the week.

Although finding time for reflection is challenging to do amidst the duties of everyday life, it is important. So try to find a little time, be it ten minutes or two, to stop by the chapel, pause, and reflect.

 

Theresa Marcucci ’23, Staff Writer

23tmarcucci@montroseschool.org