In the beginning of this pandemic, I wanted to find a way to help others in my community. After researching ideas I read that tutoring younger students during distance learning was a great option for highschoolers, like me, to help during the crisis. 

While considering this option, I remembered a younger friend of mine who I thought might have been having some trouble with distance learning. Sure enough, I found that she would appreciate my help, and I began my first experience as a voluntary tutor. 

Julia and her tutor, Rebecca Pasto, having fun while social distancing.

My tutee is named Julia. We’ve been friends for many years and have bonded over our shared love of games and of conversations. I was excited to tutor her, but at the same time, I was also anxious. What also proved to be a challenge was that distance learning was new to both of us. 

When the first day of our lessons arrived, I was able to adapt easily into my role as a tutor. During our sessions, we had conversations and laughed about our mistakes. The fun we were having together became our incentive to come back and tackle another day of distance learning. 

Tutoring was the way that I continued to learn new experiences, even though most of us have been forcibly isolated from the world we once knew. This pandemic is a new experience, and it can lead us to better understand ourselves. 

I was able to learn new skills and develop my sense of empathy, while Julia was able to learn easier with my help. In the beginning, I saw distance learning as a negative experience, but in fact it has taught me a lot. 

Julia and her tutor, Rebecca Pasto having fun and laughing at their mistakes.

Because life is an accumulation of experiences that form the basis of our character, the more experiences we gain, the better we understand ourselves and our world. I think that the words of Eleanor Roosevelt put it best when she said, “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” 

Tutoring was an experience that has developed me as a person and as a student. I know that there are many more experiences yet to be had that are waiting for the people willing to take them. The world is a playground full of possibilities, and it’s only a matter of time until the next one leads me to another great adventure. 

A note from Julia,

Hi, my name is Julia. I’m the girl that Rebecca tutored. Rebecca was a very good tutor, because she is very kind, friendly, funny, and she actually teaches you, so that you can understand what you are learning and not just for you to complete your homework. I had a lot of fun with Rebecca tutoring me, I got to know how to use punctuation in my sentences, my angles and shapes in math, and to understand science better. Even though I miss school, I had a lot of fun studying with her. I miss you Rebecca!  

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