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A student’s struggle with homelessness brings newfound appreciation of life

Haley+Bayne+%28right%29+pictured+with+her+mother%2C+Jodi+Bayne+%28left%29+in+Chestnut+Hill.+Because+of+her+living+situation%2C+Haley+now+appreciates+the+little+things+in+life.
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A student’s struggle with homelessness brings newfound appreciation of life

Haley Bayne (right) pictured with her mother, Jodi Bayne (left) in Chestnut Hill. Because of her living situation, Haley now appreciates the little things in life.

Haley Bayne (right) pictured with her mother, Jodi Bayne (left) in Chestnut Hill. Because of her living situation, Haley now appreciates the little things in life.

Haley Bayne / Sagamore staff

Haley Bayne (right) pictured with her mother, Jodi Bayne (left) in Chestnut Hill. Because of her living situation, Haley now appreciates the little things in life.

Haley Bayne / Sagamore staff

Haley Bayne / Sagamore staff

Haley Bayne (right) pictured with her mother, Jodi Bayne (left) in Chestnut Hill. Because of her living situation, Haley now appreciates the little things in life.

Haley Bayne, News writing editor

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Junior year: balancing school, homework, jobs and a slew of extracurricular activities. Juniors know. The struggle is real. But, this is not your typical junior-year-is-rough type of article. I want you to imagine navigating through “the most stressful year of your life” without a place to call home or a bed to sleep in at night. This is the story of my year.

In November, my mother and I were displaced from our apartment of nearly 15 years. My apartment was all that I pictured when I thought of home. But, it was stripped away from me in what felt like the blink of an eye.

At the beginning, for a few days here and there, I slept on the ground. It was the dead of the winter and my mom and I had no more than one small sleeping bag and a few blankets. The hardest part was when one of my teachers told my class to be appreciative of the everyday perks of life that we are accustomed to, such as having a bed. That one really stung. But I was still thankful at the time. I was thankful that my mom and I found refuge on the ground indoors.

Eventually, we found a place to stay semi-permanently. But, this place certainly did not feel like home. My mom and I were confined to one small bedroom, feeling like prisoners in our own lives. Freedom felt like a privilege.

Just the other day, at the very beginning of May, my mom and I once again were in a place that we could call home. I now have a bed of my own and enough warmth to last a lifetime. When I saw my new room for the first time, I felt such a variety of emotions that I don’t even know how to begin describing it .

Today, I am so thankful for everything I have. Everything.

I did not choose to write this article for pity or attention. The moral of my story is: take a minute each and every day and be thankful for what you have. Then think of what others around you, whether that be in the school community or elsewhere, may or may not have. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Be considerate of others.

And, when you see me in the halls or in classes, you can give me a quick smile or nod of the head if you are one of the lucky people, as I am today, to say, “I have a bed to sleep in at night and a place to call home, and I love life.”

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “A student’s struggle with homelessness brings newfound appreciation of life”

  1. Elena Fernandez on October 6th, 2016 8:34 am

    Haley, I admire your courage for sharing this story. And I agree with your premise that we must be thankful for what we have each day. I think you have an incredible sense of resilience and as life goes on, this experience will serve you well in life. You are a fighter and survivor and perseverance and grit are powerful life skills. Thank you for taking the risk to share your story with all of us. It made my day, my week. I wish you and your mom the best in the coming years and in life.

  2. Maria Kalaitzidis on October 16th, 2016 9:55 am

    Haley, you are one beautiful and courageous young lady! Thank you for sharing your story and making all of us take the time to be thankful for all that we have!!!

    Wishing you a great senior year and a very bright future ahead! For you and your mom!
    With Love Ms. Maria:)

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A student’s struggle with homelessness brings newfound appreciation of life