It’s Our Turn Youth Contest submissions
- You must be 14+ years of age to vote in this contest
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Advertisement Accordion Closed
Submission A-4, age 18
Toolkits Accordion Closed
Submission T-1, age 17
Submission T-2, age 17
Submission T-4, age 20
Submission T-5, age 20
Submission T-6, age 19
Visual Arts Accordion Closed
V-2, age 14
V-4, age 17
V-6, age 20
Written Word Accordion Closed
Submission W-1, age 17
Some of the reasons for the content that I included were to describe about my mental health and my personal journey throughout the pandemic and how affected I was throughout the entire pandemic. My motivation for entering the contest was both being a student advisor as well as wanting to be able to share my story and informing others about how this pandemic has affected me both mentally and personally.
If You Only Knew. . . A Poem Written By: XXXXX
At this particular moment, I need just a second.
A second to recollect, remember and recover.
I curl up my arms and close myself in,
To hide my true feelings and the truth within.
For the memories of this cruel pandemic were just too good to be true-
The events were all too real.
And the fears I thought would never come up – appeared.
And as I thought through and through and through – there were too many times that I wished I would’ve been dead soon.
I now remember those nights.
Oh yes, those horrible, horrible nights
Those endless nights of tears.
Those specific days unleashed my inner fears.
And now as I sit
On my blankets that were ever so soft and swift
I remember everything that happened from beginning to end.
In the beginning, all was going well,
Until the day the pandemic was spreading,
And little did I know about the path I was steadily heading for
Those meetings and calls felt less than actual conversation
Conversations weren’t the same anymore.
Every day felt the same.
Wake up, eat, classes, eat, classes, eat, sleep, repeat.
It repeated again and again for weeks upon weeks
Every week was just another broken record.
Happiness started to dwindle away.
Taking time to have fun was only led astray.
Whatever happened to the golden and fun days?
That’s a question that I never seem to answer nowadays.
But throughout these times of anguish and bore, the unexpected of the unexpected occurred.
I started to find going to classes a waste of time.
Eating was the last thing on my list, and my hunger started to decline.
My rivers of tears became cries of help from a big sense of fear.
Those emotions of emptiness fueled my thoughts of the end,
Oh how I wished those thoughts would have disappeared.
I wish that the people whom I loved knew about what happened to me,
Because when COVID hit the family,
That’s when hell started to unleash.
There’s a specific reason as to why I hide away what happened in the summer of 2021.
It’s to hide all the pain and suffering I felt within.
Sure, there may be times where I’ll share about what happened,
But I’m always so afraid of feeling some sort of nelegction.
The majority of friends I’ve once talked frequently to,
Seemed way too busy and occupied with others – so I’ve always withdrew.
It was pretty frequent where I even missed multiple calls on multiple occasions from a friend too.
But I’ve always thought and wished too if they only knew. . .
What all I had gone through. . .
But courage and bravery continued to flow
I started to reach out, connect, and regrow
The friendships that I thought I have lost long ago
Throughout time I’ve wept, laughed, and have had many sleepless nights
And I’ve had to say one too many goodbyes
I am now seventeen,
This year’s practically been interesting
For my endless thoughts of darkness always come back to haunt me
And now I’m entangled in, family, school, and extracurricular stress
And even I’ve pondered about my friendships and yet I have to confess,
I’ve always come back to that one same ending
That I’ve always find myself hoping
If my friends and relatives only knew,
About what happened throughout my time of gloom.
Submission W-2, age 17
Only in the dark she could see light
One week off of school turned to two
Two then turned to three
Which then turned to eternity
She stayed home
So did everyone
Ordered not to leave for at least two weeks
No one listened
But she did
She even stayed two more
This time not everyone
Longing for home, Keams Canyon, AZ
Missing her family
More and more each day
Everyone fearful as she is a part of a failing demographic that being Native American
A demographic that didn’t fit everyone
Time went on but she stayed put
Not traveling not seeing the people she loves
Praying everyday everyone stays safe
She struggle more and more not seeing home
The home where she knows everyone
As she stayed home she realized how much her family means to her
Because her family isn’t just her relatives but her community too
She misses the gatherings, the smiles and laughter, the hope and joy
That was all stripped away with the two weeks that turned to many
That same two weeks though didn’t apply to everyone
With the realization of the importance of family brought light
Light to show her through the dark they called the pandemic
The first time she hadn’t seen her family in a long time, what seemed like forever
The first time she realized she needed her family
She missed everyone
Until the end which is not near
She will feel deprived of the presence of those she loves
With weeks growing longer and continuing forever
She will stay home so maybe one day she can go home
Go home to be with everyone
Submission W-3, age 16
The Clock Will Never Stop For You By: XXXXX
Every day it comes to mind
I am not as I began
And every day I sit and think
Of every second hand
That ticked away the time I had,
That ticked away my youth,
That ticks away my life,
And that, there is the truth.
I’d run and I’d play
That’s how i spent my life
But there isn’t enough time in a day
To have that kind of life.
When I was little
Days went by fast
Now they go by faster
I’m almost seventeen
And I wish the days would last –er!
That’s not what I meant
School, please go by quick
But I’ll never have friends like this again
And it really makes me sick…
I regret every time
I’ve made other plans
Was I really busy?
Said i hadn’t enough hands
I was making myself dizzy.
And with every breath I take
I am only more aware
That i am losing time
Do I have a second to stare
At the flowers?
My cactus only blooms once a year
How long has it been since I’ve seen it?
Do I have a moment to hear
That piano recital my friend had feared?
The world won’t stop for me
So I must stop for it
Or I’ll start to regret
Everything I missed
This mustn’t be my life
Working till I die
I want to walk the road with strife
Learning how to fly
Submission W-4, age 20
“Be the Hero” By: xxxxxx
As children, we aspire and dream,
Of being the ones in capes and masks.
A big letter across our chest,
Fighting crime, obsessed with doing good.
We start to mature and that fire,
It dies, extinguished onyx smoke.
Realizing that heroes only exist in fiction,
We grow up, a conviction that snuffed our spark.
But a hero’s story never ends,
They get back up and fight.
Hope, it drives them
Until they succumb to the villain.
Our heroes are overworked and tired,
Fighting endlessly without question.
And their enemy is vicious
Infecting everyone with malicious intent.
Now common for hero story arcs
Comes the distrust.
The society sold that our heroes
Work for false pharos, hiding secrets.
Now normally would be the comeback,
Where the heroes defeat all odds.
But time we don’t have
Now is our time to fight the war.
It’s time to become the superheroes we always wanted to be,
By putting on our masks.