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The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Personal Column: Breaking the noise

Appreciating+the+silence
Naadiya Walji
Appreciating the silence

The world is loud. The hallways in school are echoed with conversation, grocery stores are filled with chatter, and lunch tables are occupied with uncomfortable small talk. The world is constantly moving, and sometimes, it’s hard to keep up. The relentless pace of the world, in my opinion, is exhausting.

 As I journey through the chapters of my life, I find myself constantly drawn to the moments of quiet, where the depth of our connections transcends the need for words.

Growing up, I thought the world was supposed to be all “hustle and bustle,” I didn’t truly appreciate moments of silence and found myself trying to fill it with awkward conversation.  For instance, I vividly remember going to lunch with a friend, trying to navigate the silence that fell every few minutes. I didn’t understand that this silence was intentional, a sign that we didn’t need to speak to enjoy each other’s company. 

On the swings in second grade, I remembered seeing the chaos of elementary school kids during recess. The playful shouts, and thumps of bouncing balls on the soccer field. As I swung higher and higher, the farther away I felt from the chaos. It was almost therapeutic, swinging in silence and watching the business of the world go by.

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Life continued, and I soon began to recognize the exhaustion that came with trying to keep up with the world’s noisiness.  The environment often drowned out the subtler, more profound conversations happening in the silence.

Intentional stillness, such as shared glances in the hallway, a reassuring smile to a friend, and moments of quiet solidarity strengthen understanding amongst individuals. 

Years ago, I visited Newport Beach in California. It was touched by golden, warm sand and rhythmic crashing waves that puzzled me. It was shocking to see people so calm, doing what seemed like “nothing” to me, as I thought the beach was chaotic and lively. Individuals were spread out across the sand, reading books or sunbathing next to their loved ones. I found it strangely quiet, and as the annoying child I was, felt like I had no choice but to disrupt the serenity and drag my father into the warm water and promptly splash him. 

After a while, I noticed the stillness of the beach. The sunbathers weren’t simply idle, they were absorbing the closeness with their loved ones, partaking in a relaxing activity in a relaxing environment. 

I joined my parents in finding a spot on the beach and lay alongside them while savoring the quiet beauty in the beach, and being close to the people I care about. I realized that sometimes, the most profound experiences come not from constant activity but from embracing the simplicity of stillness.

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About the Contributor
Naadiya Walji, Staff Writer
Naadiya is a senior at CVHS. She is a quiet bookworm who’s favorite pastimes include reading, spending time with her cat, and drinking coffee. Interested in psychology, Naadiya looks for the deeper meaning behind everything she reads. Her favorite genre is fantasy and she cares deeply for minority representation in media. As an empath and future psychologist, Naadiya loves newspaper because it allows her to explore new topics and perspectives.  
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