Welcome back everyone! I’m definitely getting off to a late start this morning, after a nice holiday weekend I’m now catching up on lots of school work for the week – but it’s crazy to think the semester is over in just a few weeks. Switching to online classes halfway through has definitely shortened the semester a bit!
Speaking of online classes, I wanted to take this week’s post to just share my thoughts on everything going on right now, as I haven’t completely touched on it yet. It’s definitely been a roller coaster of emotions, but I now feel that I’m at a point where I’m settled enough – both physically and mentally – to talk openly about the situation, and hopefully bring some positivity to whatever the future holds.
I understand that all people are talking about nowadays is what’s happening next with the coronavirus, and when will the quarantine end, and how many positive test results have come back each day, and how little protective equipment there is available – and these are all very valid concerns. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that stressing about the logistics which we cannot control is not going to help me in any way, and reading the news (that’s usually the same every day now) is only going to bring me more fear and anxiety. Of course, some people do need to pay attention to the news, especially those who still need to go into work every day; however, for the most part, I urge you all to take a step back and focus on some more positive content while we have the time. So, I’m here this week to help promote that positivity.
Obviously this did not all start on a positive note, though. Looking back to about a month ago, I received an email explaining that my courses would be online for the remainder of the semester, and I was expected to move out of my apartment within the next four days. To say I was confused, sad, angry, or frustrated does not even begin to explain what was going through my mind. After my fall semester abroad, I had just returned to the home I know and love, and was expected to leave after just a month and a half? My junior year at Boston College was way too short.
The next couple of weeks were filled with chaos, stress, and feeling way too frustrated about what the rest of the semester was looking like. I’m sure everyone remembers their own experiences as life began to change drastically throughout the last month. However, like I said, I want to focus on the future. After spending the last month moving and settling in my home, and now the last couple of weeks getting into a somewhat regular schedule, I’ve grown more comfortable with the current situation, and I’m gaining a more optimistic outlook on what’s to come.
Of course this is not ideal for anyone, and we will be in recovery for months and months to come, but that doesn’t mean this is going to last forever. I think the only way to get through this right now, at least for me, is to look at the bright side of what’s going to come in the aftermath. I don’t mean to diminish the horrendous level of deaths and illnesses occurring – this is not a good thing. But we can find some good in it, at least enough to get through it.
I think everyone has realized how much they took for granted, whether that be nature, seeing family and friends, going to school, going out to eat, and simply being able to give someone a high-five. I’m optimistic that, at least for a little while, people will embrace one another and take advantage of everything this world has to offer, once we’re able to get back to a “normal” lifestyle. Especially being in college right now, I can pretty much guarantee that my final year of school will be unlike any other – not only being able to live with roommates again and eat meals with friends, but actually being able to walk into a classroom and discuss material in person – something so many of us complain about on a daily basis! The next few years are going to be some of the most wholesome, uplifting times of our lives.
Looking more closely into the future, this has given us all the time we’ve been asking for for so long. Every one of us has at least one goal we’ve been meaning to accomplish, but can never find the time to do so. Well, here it is! Even if you don’t have the motivation to get anything done and this has been too overwhelming, you also have the time to accept that and just relax – you are not missing out on anything. I think the world was at a point where we all needed to just slow down and take a breath, and of course a pandemic wasn’t the only way to go about that, but it sure has showed us what life is like when we do slow down!
This lifestyle definitely took some adjusting, but I’m now becoming more and more at peace with how simple everything can be right now. I have more than enough time to take care of myself – physically and mentally. I’m about to graduate next year and move on with my life, and now I’ve been given an extra few months to spend at home with my family before taking that step. I’ve been able to devote more time to both schoolwork and personal projects, so by the time this is all over, I’ll be in a strong position to move forward with my goals. And I’ve learned who is really there for me, and which relationships in my life I value – I’m starting to talk to my friends even more now that we can’t actually see each other, and this is a lesson I want to carry with me once we are able to rejoin.
Beyond just myself, I’ve noticed a major shift in the health of the environment with the massive reduction in air pollution, which gives me hope that society will start to protect this earth a little better, since right now it’s really all we have. I’ve also seen a huge boost in humanity, with people coming together (from the safety of their own homes) to help those either sick themselves, or those helping the sick. People are outside every day, enjoying the nature we do still have, the one constant factor in our lives right now, waving to each other from across the street and making the most of any small interactions we can get throughout the day.
So, although I’ve been rambling and touched on both the hard parts and the good parts of this situation, I hope you can all agree with me that there is some good that will come out of this, whether that’s right now or a year in the future. I can’t reasonably make it through the next few days, weeks, or months, if all I do is think about how hard this is and how much I’m missing. Because in reality, I’m not missing out on anything – everyone is on hold right now. And all we can do is obey that.
In the past, I’ve always grown anxious without having an upcoming trip planned, or a flight booked for the future. Staying in one place was my worst nightmare. I’ve taken this whole situation to be a lesson for myself that staying put sometimes is okay – and I need to learn to enjoy it. I’m now coming to a place where I’m truly comfortable being at home, and I’m even looking forward to this extra time and space I have to work on myself.
I hope you can all do the same, and once again, I hope you are all staying safe at home 🙂