Letter to Matrics from Old Boy and Deputy Head Prefect 2018, Nicholas Deeb

Good day to the Northwood Knights, Old Boys and to the community of Durban North.

During this time of national disaster and under the effects of the lockdown imposed on our country, it is easy to slip into despair and to feel depressed with our circumstances. It is important to be mindful of both your mental and physical well being during this time, because as the days blend together and it becomes increasingly difficult to find interesting ways to pass the time, you may find yourself slipping into a rut and neglecting to look after yourself and those you care about.

Fortunately, this is all easily avoidable if the lockdown is approached with a positive attitude. One of the main reasons I was asked to write this article was to help spread positivity through Northwood’s social media reach. I believe that it is crucial to maintain healthy relationships within the school, as well as the greater community, and that we endeavour to support and uplift one another despite being physically distanced from each other. In time, this pandemic shall pass, and when everything has settled and we are blessed with the ability to go about our lives as we so un-appreciatively did before the lockdown, we will surely hope to have maintained and even strengthened our relationships, be they with family, fellow knights and friends, teachers and coaches or other community members. I am privileged to know the bond that one forms with the brotherhood that is Northwood and I feel that if we, as current Knights and also the Old Boys, can make an effort to extend that support and friendship and care to whoever we have contact with during this time, it will only serve to strengthen the bond between Northwood and the Durban North community.

On a more personal note, I have found that breaking my day down into parts and ensuring that I “visit” all the important aspects of my life on a daily basis has helped me very much in coping with the lockdown. First and foremost, comes time for reflection and prayer – I feel that in this time of panic and confusion it is more important than ever to have faith in God and to be grateful for the blessings we have. Aside from obeying the rules of the lockdown, the most helpful the majority of us can be is by praying for an end to the pandemic. Spend time with your family and any other people around you, invest in those relationships and take this time to heal any grievances if needs be. Be kind and compassionate; everyone is taking strain from the current situation and conflict can only worsen that strain. Other than this, it is vital to keep both mentally and physically active. The endorphins released from physical activity are a much-needed rush during what can be a very slow day and is also key to staying healthy. This coupled with a consistent, appropriate sleeping schedule will give your immune system the best chance to protect you from illness. Perhaps even more important than this though, is staying mentally active. This lockdown is not to be mistaken for a holiday; just because we are all away from school, university or work doesn’t mean that we should stop exercising our brains. When we emerge from lockdown and go back to normal life we cannot afford to be behind academically and to not have engaged our brains for however long it may last. I know that this can seem quite daunting to some and you might not know where to begin, especially students in matric. When I realised that this is the case, I decided to do something about it and in my own way support the Northwood brotherhood. After contacting some of my fellow Old Boys and getting them on board, we have approached the matrics of 2020 to offer our experience and knowledge in any areas that they require assistance, be it regarding academics, university or life outside of school. I encourage the matrics of 2020 to take us up on our offer – my details have been broadcast via Northwood’s social media platforms, so please feel free to contact me.

I wish you all the very best in health and happiness during the coming weeks, may God watch over you and your families and I look forward to watching Northwood continue to grow and excel in the future.

Nicholas Deeb – Class of 2018

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