Just like everyone else, when the world was "coming to an end," I did not consider how severe the threat actually was. I thought I would still be able to Graduate, go to Prom, and go on vacation this summer. But things change and all we can do is get by, enjoy what we can, and learn from our experiences. It was difficult to let my previous expectations go, but by doing so, I have gained so much more. So here are some things I have learned these last few months:
Taking a break from school, social media, and life is okay.
- It is no secret that life as a student is stressful. A heavy course load, the expectation to be involved, and monetary needs are some ways students today have higher rates of anxiety and depression. But if COVID has been good for one thing as a student, it has been good for taking a break. Fortunately, I was able o go without work for a few months (and I am very grateful for this). But given the circumstance, I had to give up my job, school, activities, and more. By leaving these things behind and reflecting, I recognize how much school, work, and my activities stressed me out (and I don't think I am alone). After some upset days and nights, I feel more comfortable staying home and relaxing if I am anxious instead of going to an obligation, reading the news, or scrolling through social media. I hope to carry this comfort into our Post-COVID world.
Family time is honestly underrated.
Family Board Game Night
- Before COVID, I really did not value or have time to spend with my family. But through the powers of COVID, I was forced to spend many days with my close family. Through this time, I have bonded with my Dad, Mom, and Sisters. While we have gone through good and bad moments during this pandemic, I wouldn't have traded this time for anything. Going forward, I plan on keeping in touch with my family much more than I was originally planning.
Going to school sick is extremely rude and potentially deadly.
Wear a mask!Giphy
- I feel like I am not alone in saying that Americans would rather go to work while sick, then take the extra time to catch up with peers. The same goes for students. Looking back, going to school while sick without a mask was a very selfish move, but it wasn't apart of our culture. I could have harmed one of my teachers who has a half-deflated lung. But COVID has changed how I view sickness permanently. Going forward, I will be wearing a mask in public when I am sick because I can never know how it would affect people in my community.
Our community is everything.
- Above all else, I have gained a stronger need to support my community (big and small). I have been able to see just how easily my actions can cause the death or wellbeing of a neighbor, waitress, or grandfather. While before, I always had a calling to serve my community, I never grasped how important my actions are for the wellbeing of those around me. As a result of COVID, I wear my mask, stay at home while sick, and volunteer because it is what is best for my community. I urge you all to do the same.
In the end, COVID-19 has been devastating. I salute everything our workers on the front line, parents, teachers, and leaders have done to keep our world going. I feel like there are a lot of lessons that I have taken from this pandemic, that I want others to notice too. But my message to you guys is to respect your community and wear a mask. We are stronger together.