"COVID-19 + Racism, what a catastrophe!"
If you are mind-blown just like me, who would have ever thought that the start of this new decade is absolutely jaw-dropping? Many of us were stepping into 2020 with confidence, grace, and stride, but this year have been a shocking ride!
On Thursday, March 12th, 2020, I was spending my last hours on the small, close-knit University of West Georgia campus before going home for Spring Break. I did not have any special vacation planned with my girlfriends, but I remembered being thrilled for my upcoming graduation. Like, your girl was graduating!!! Four years seemed like four weeks as I got closer to the time to embrace and walk across the stage. So, I was going home for a shopping spree to get my outfits for my grad pictures and graduation, or at least as I thought. As I woke up that morning, I did my normal routine of prayer, self-care, and breakfast before taking a quiz in my Evolution class. That did not go well as I intended, but I was excited to give a grand college tour to middle schoolers with my National Society of Collegiate Scholars organization. The vibrant energy and engaging conversations from the students enlighten my day. Later that evening, I was inducted as an official member of Tri-Beta Biological Club, packed up half of my room, and went on a dinner date with my besties. Little did I know that specific night would be the last hoorah of my undergrad career.
2020: The New Normal? No Justice, No Peace
The next day, my father picked me up from school and loaded my belongings into the trunk. We had our usual conversation with my academic and social life, but then our conversation merged to discussing about the treacherous epidemic, Coronavirus. My mood instantly changed when he mentioned that I may not have my grad bash or grad trip because of the current health crisis. The ongoing news did not stop there. A week and a half into my extended Spring Break, I received one of the most devastating news in my life. Spring 2020 Graduation Commencement Ceremony is cancelled!!! I said to myself that it had to be a joke and I was not receptive to this news at all. I felt robbed of all my last senior year moments in college and that I was not going to cherish them with my friends. After the last two months of three deaths in my family, transition of online courses, and the current crisis of racism and police brutality towards our African American citizens, it all seems like 2020 is a tough pill to swallow. When would the year get any better? Is there renewed hope that will be restored?
The answer to this question is, YES! It may be a difficult time to believe it and many of question why all of this is happening at once. As a believer in Christ, I know that God is aware of what is going one and one thing I learned so far this year is PATIENCE. You may ask why patience? First and foremost, I am a huge planner at heart as if I am obligated to plan my entire life. I was looking forward to starting this new decade with new challenges and adventures with dreams that were bigger than me, but God had bigger plans for me! There is saying that states, "Good things comes to those who wait." I learn that this pandemic is making me wait for something that God has in store as it pertains to my personal dreams and goals. The pandemic has simply reminded me that even though this storm has battered our nation and globe, you must remain calm with patience. I learned that it important to cultivate patience because it is better for your mental health and it helps you to achieve your long-term goals. This thought simply reminded me of a scripture in Romans 12:12 which states, "Be joyful in hope, patience in affliction, faithful in prayer." We are experiencing so much affliction that it becomes too much of a burden on our shoulders but lean on God because he is a shoulder pray and cry on in times of adversity! Stay safe you all! :)