Simple pleasures; we all have them, yet for some reason we often lose sight of the seemingly meaningless occurrences that bring us immense amounts of joy.

For WHS students, the daily pressure of homework, sports, SATs, parents, and college applications prevent us from taking the time to appreciate the small things.

One day this past week, I challenged myself to take note of each small perk of my day that I otherwise would have cast aside in the rush of a school day. By the time I went to bed, I had lost count of all the minute details of my day that brought a smile to my face.

On this particular day, I had already experienced a delight before I left for school. My silent slumber was interrupted by a sudden noise from downstairs, and with one swift motion I was groggily up from the warmth of my bed and searching for a clock. Half asleep and expecting to read 7:30 a.m. on the clock, prepared to make the all-too-common mad dash for class — I was taken aback to see that it was actually five in the morning.

I stood staring at the clock in disbelief for a moment and made a mental note that my first simple pleasure had just been accounted for; I had two extra hours of sleep.

Later, an impatient shout from my brother reminded me it was time to get ready for school. A glimpse of the dreary weather outside would normally be nothing to be happy about, but on this day it meant I was able to slip into my favorite outfit of all time.

Yes, this means jeans and my favorite worn-in sweatshirt, which has been passed down from my older brother to me, and shared between many friends. We all have that one sweatshirt; perfectly sized, worn in, perhaps beaten up a little, that feels like a much-needed hug when you put it on.

This is a simple pleasure that lasts all day long, as I sit in class grateful for the rainy day that allowed me to bask in a sate of extreme comfort.

As the oldest child in the house this year, I have evolved into somewhat of a taxi service for my other siblings, and ended up driving both of my brothers to school that day. The harmless teasing between my brothers and I as we take turns playing our favorite songs has become tradition.

I now find myself looking forward to the days when my middle school brother misses the bus so we can spend those few extra minutes in my car exchanging new songs. Hitting every green light, the kind person who let me make a left turn onto Route 7, and mistakenly finding five dollars in my pocket (which I later spent on Culinary cookies), were all perks of my drive as well.

The school day passed by in a blur of math equations, French essays, greetings from friends, far too many physics problems for one mind to comprehend, and a track practice that left me immobile for the remainder of the day. I did not forget to stop and take the time to be grateful for multiple simply perfect incidents, though.

First came my timely stroll into the school. Although we seniors thought a perk of senior year would be the leisurely walk from the senior lot into the school, we were sorely mistaken.

However, on this particular day, as I struggled to make my way inside through the downpour, I happened to walk past the field house doors at the same time as a teacher. Once again, fellow WHS students understand the significance, and yes, indescribable feeling of happiness as a teacher lets you in through the doors, ending the frigid trek from your car to school.

Other simple pleasures throughout the day included the realization of gym free, a math quiz that was decided to be pushed until Monday, the news that culinary classes were selling holiday cookies, and track practice ending 30 minutes early.

As I opened my front door that evening, sure that there weren’t any other little surprises that would brighten my day, I caught sight of my three dogs lying peacefully on their beds.

As soon as they heard my backpack hit the floor, they came bounding towards me (of course with tongues hanging out and limbs flying in every direction), and pounced on me as if I hadn’t seen them in years. I decided I would never again take for granted the fact that my dogs will faithfully greet me with unconditional admiration and affection, no matter how bad my day has been.

Now, my challenge for you is to pick a day, as ordinary as any other, and count each simple pleasure that you would normally disregard because of the stress of daily life. Hopefully this will make you more grateful for the smaller things in life, as it did for me.

Brooke Connolly is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.