Like most people, at the first peak of our current pandemic, I had faced difficult decisions. Some being, should I move out of my college dorm early? Should I move back home with family or move in with a friend? What's going to happen to my job? Should I transfer schools? All these questions running around through my head, but the biggest one being, what's going to happen now?
When I started the college application process a couple of years ago, I knew I was headed off to do my own thing. Staying home, staying in the same state, was NOT an option. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. They just drive me crazy. I love where I am from and I am very proud of where I grew up and my Seattle Seahawks. Going to school in a different state was a way for me to focus on myself. I look at college not just as a place for me to get an education, but as I partly support myself through college I look at it as the transition period from living at home to going into the "real world."
So, when I finally made it to Hawai'i, started doing well in classes after a short hiccup, was doing well at my job, had a good amount of money in savings and investing, I didn't think that I would end up back home for a stay that lasted longer than a few weeks.
Fortunately, my savings had enough to buy a last-minute plane ticket to Seattle and enough to sustain me for a few purchases for hobbies during this time and to think about what I should do in the coming months. However, I realized I was now back here at my old home.
Everyone's situation during this time is different and unique. For my family and I, we haven't seen mom since this whole thing started because she's a nurse working frontline, my sister and my dad are both high risk or immunocompromised (I have heard both terms), which means that if they were to contract COVID-19, the odds of them surviving are extremely low. For these reasons, we go out only for the grocery store.
I've realized a few things since mid-March. I have to get pretty creative in entertaining myself, which apparently I am terrible at. This past winter I picked up painting as a way to pass time and a way to relax. I thought I was decent enough to hang up on my walls, but not decent enough to post photos on it. I now see after watching my 11-year-old sister use my paint supplies that I am the worst of the worst. I feel like this is good to know early on in my painting career.
I've learned that I have chosen the correct major after being contained inside and watching the news throughout this entire time. I'm currently a political science major and working towards law school. I have found ways to be an activist regarding certain issues while not physically being in the heart of everything. I've had more discussions on politics than I have had about my health.
Speaking about my health. I've learned that all the work I have done on my mental health, regarding my depression and anxiety, has been tested during this time. It's really easy for me to fall back into a depressive state and not come out of it for a long time, but since the time I have started living back at home, I have found new things that I've done and didn't do before are things that I never would have tried before this quarantine.
I reached out to an old high school teacher and explained to her my situation and explained to her how I was feeling. We now have video calls and check-ins with each through email. I started planning again. Before, I planned everything. I have planned out everything in my life up to the moment I graduate from law school. Some may call this unhealthy or just outright weird, but it helps me organize the things that I know me for sure need to do. Most of the time I never look at the plans after first creating it, but I see key things within the plan that I need to do in order to have an end goal at all. For example, to apply to law school I am required to take the LSAT at a certain time.
Planning far ahead, especially 7-10 years ahead, is not something I recommend doing and is not something that I am doing anymore myself. Instead, I am planning for how my classes this fall will be delivered, where I will be living as I begin my move back to Hawai'i, and even have a paying job lined up already to save and invest in my future again.
I am very grateful and very lucky how things are slowly starting to turn around for me, and I truly don't take it for granted. These past four months have taught me that things can change very drastically and very quickly so when I see an opportunity I am going to take it and run.