I've been meaning to write for a while, and with this quarantine situation, I've obviously had nothing but time to do so. My problem though, aside from blatant procrastination, was what to write about. I didn't want to write about the corona virus, there is more than enough of that circulating. And if I was going to write about the corona virus, I didn't want to say the same thing as everyone else. We've got the positive side telling us to stay inside! Look on the bright side! Learn a new language! Take this time to work on yourself! Then we have the doom of deaths and the struggling economy and the talk of extending online schooling. All have a place in the conversation, theres validity in both sides. But to be quite honest, I'm sick of it all. So, in hopes of curing my writers block, I glanced over things I have written on here in the past and I realized that my specialty is reflection. I write about what I learn, things I care about, give some unsolicited advice. And although every inch of me is resisting putting anymore energy into COVID 19, I do have a lot to reflect on, so here it goes.
This thing is tough for everyone, that I know. No matter who you are or where you're at, this is far from ideal. We all have our COVID demon were dealing with. However, I feel as a college student, there is a unique perspective I have to offer and maybe even some comfort to other college students I'm sure are feeling the same way.
When I heard that our classes were being moved to online, I had a complete breakdown. This breakdown was triggered by the class shift but really, it was everything. I was angry, I was frustrated, I was sad, but I'll spare you the long list of adjectives and stop there. I got over my mini (maybe not so mini) meltdown and I began to accept what was going on. I wasn't happy about it, obviously, but I started doing what I had to do, making the adjustments. Since then I've gone through a million phases in just one short month.
At times my inner homebody is glad to be stuck in my favorite house, and then at other times the extroverted college student in me feels like I might be suffocating. Sometimes I tell myself I can't take this one more day and other days I chug along and try to make the best of it. Some days I'm incredibly hopeful and other days I catch myself thinking about how the rest of my life will pan out being confined to this house.
Amongst this teeter totter of emotions I came to the conclusion that for me, as a college student, this was hard for one big reason. College, for me, has felt like the turning where the rest of my life started to begin. I am go go go all the time. Eager to meet people, form new relationships, I'm learning and loving being on my own, I'm throwing myself into schoolwork and volunteering and internships in hopes of achieving my dream career. And of course, just simply having a really, really good time. It isn't all sunshine and rainbows and I probably complain more than I mean to. But even with all the hard stuff, this part of my life has felt incredibly purposeful.
Right now, all of this is being put on hold and instead of moving forward, I am living with my parents, doing homework at my dining room table, feeling like I've taken a whole years worth of steps backward. And worst of all, I feel like what I would currently call the best years of my life (assuming I'll say this again about another season of life) are being put on hold, 3 months thrown away. I know it might sound dramatic. I know people are losing and sacrificing more than just partying and living on their own with friends (I do promise that college is much more than just this!). But what I'm getting at is something that I think is universal; we're all losing time that we will never get back. No matter how important or not important your current season of life might be to you, no one likes wasted time.
This sounds incredibly (for lack of a better word) "doomy". I did say I didn't want to take that approach either, so in order to keep my promise I decided that this isn't negative, or "doom" but instead a really, really good lesson.
We seem to go about our daily lives thinking we have nothing but time. We complain about being busy and we dream of just lying around our houses, not going to class or work, avoiding plans. We assume we have the rest of our lives to do "stuff". And we still will, once this ends. But for the time being I know most of us are wishing we could do "stuff". Not even just going to bars, concerts, sporting events, but I dare say going to school, going to work, holiday's with your family, stopping by your friends house, the very simple things. Normalcy, something we take for granted, has been totally taken away. So when this is all said and done, and we are complaining about going to work, waking up for an 8am class, desperately looking for an internship, dreading a hectic holiday with family, let us remember when we couldn't do any of these seemingly annoying things. And when were traveling to different countries, sitting at a big table of friends, partying at college, walking across stage at graduation, thinking to ourselves how good life is, let us remember when these things were taken from us, when they seemed like a privilege, a far far instance of the future. If this quarantine leaves us all with nothing else, not 6 pack abs, mastery of a new language, better cooking skills, let it leave us understanding the value of our time. May we look back and remember this as the time we learned that the annoying things really aren't that bad and that the good things are absolute solid gold.
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