COVID-19: The Beginning of My BBYO Career

November 3, 2023
Jared Haynes

Trumbull, Connecticut, United States

Class of 2024

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COVID. It is a time that everyone will remember because it affected us in so many ways. For me, it was the way it affected my first year of BBYO. COVID was still in full swing going into my freshman year, and even though I had no idea what I was doing, I still decided to join BBYO.

In my first meeting, I remember showing up at our president’s house with a chair and lots of questions. We had to fill out a form saying that we didn’t feel sick, and there were cones placed six feet from each other where we could place our chairs and sit. Since I was new, I was unaware of all the traditions at every meeting and sat in silence but also a little bit of awe as the board opened the meeting. I still remember that first meeting vividly, as it was the start of the favorite part of my high school career. 

We continued to have the same type of meetings where we couldn’t do much because of COVID-19, but I still had fun, and as time went on, I felt like an actual member of my chapter. When it became colder, it was much harder to hold meetings outside, so we transferred to Zoom meetings. Most of the time, we ended up playing Among Us, and it didn’t feel like as much of a meeting as a hangout. After many of these types of meetings, it finally warmed up enough that we could go back to meeting outside, albeit with restrictions. By that time, I was friendly enough with everyone in my chapter that I was really a part of it, compared to someone who had just joined.

In the more general aspect, our chapter didn’t gain as many members that year as we have since, but I definitely think it brought everyone closer because we all had shared experiences through BBYO. Covid taught many people, myself included, what’s important to bring to our lives and I have tried my best to carry that over into my chapter and include the aspects of meaningful connections and shared memories in everything we do. Although COVID was a bad time for many people, I emerged from it stronger and readier to assist my chapter and region.

Jared Haynes is an Aleph from Trumbull, CT of CVR, is regional mazkir, likes pole vaulting and reading.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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