When lockdowns started in 2020, Camryn packed up her things and left her Grade 6 classroom. Today, she’s a teenager and junior high student living in rural Strathcona County. Camryn shares her story of resilience in celebration of National Child Day (Nov. 20):
“It was hard because everything closed down then reopened then closed again. Online school was a lot harder. It was just me in a bedroom with a computer. We’d have short classes where the teachers would try and explain what we had to do. It was very stressful, trying to keep up with everything.
One thing that helped me was my pets. When I’m not doing well, sometimes I forget to do basic things. I get distracted, but my pets help me feel calm again. We have a Bernedoodle — a Bernese mountain dog and poodle. His name’s Cooper. We’d walk a lot during winter and he’d jump in snowbanks. It was cute; just him being silly. And I have two cats — Frenchie and Rosie.
I also like to draw my cats a lot, and lately I’ve seen my art style change. Recently it’s gone from everything looking the same to all my characters having different shapes. You can tell them apart without even needing too much detail. I’m thinking about doing graphic design when I’m older.
I have the ability to create scenarios in my head and then draw them out. I think part of the reason I'm good at this is because I have ADHD. I found out last May. It helped me kind of understand how my brain works. I’m getting to know me a lot better. I often get distracted or zone out and now I know why that’s happening. Before I would kind of just try to stop myself from doing those things. Now I just leave it. And some of my teachers have told my mom how I’ve improved — like being able to pay attention to small details in math class.
To my younger self, I’d say be kind to yourself because you’re not broken or anything. It’s normal for you. Being different isn’t bad.”
— Camryn, Grade 8 student
National Child Day is celebrated on Nov. 20 in recognition of Canada's commitment to upholding the rights of children. Celebrate with Strathcona County!
This story is part of our Be Real. Be Really Kind. campaign to encourage empathy as our community continues to face COVID-19. If you’re struggling with your mental health, finances or just feel overwhelmed, call our Family and Community Services line at 780-464-4044.