Things I’ve Learned Not to Take for Granted

By Julia Kemp

After a crazy year full of intense twists and turns I have come to realize that there were so many things I took for granted before quarantine started. We have all had so much time to reflect and to learn this past year and I want to share a couple of big things that I have learned to not take for granted.

  1. Time with loved ones

The time that I spent with my family and friends were times that I definitely took for granted before quarantine. I didn’t fully appreciate or understand the support and privilege of spending quality time with the people that make me happy. I have especially learned how much I depend on my close friends and how lucky I am to have found the perfect people to surround myself with. 

  1. School!!! 

Before school shut down last year, getting up early and driving to school everyday felt like such a chore. I felt that I went to school only because I had to. Now, I realize how lucky I was to have a physical environment like the Westmont campus to learn and connect with people. I have definitely learned to not take for granted in-person school.

  1. Being young

When things finally do go back to normal, I’m terrified that my time as a young person will come to an startling end. The teenage experience I dreamed about while watching Disney Channel as a kid isn’t exactly playing out how I thought it would. I’ve learned this year that time really does fly and that I should live every moment as a young person to the absolute fullest. Every laughable moment, or even every sad or stressful one, is a moment that I won’t get back, so I’ve learned how important it is to step back and to make memories that will last. 

  1. Alone time

Even though some may say that alone time is in abundance at the moment, I feel that I haven’t gotten much time alone this past year. Though I have been physically alone a lot more, I have been attached to the buzz and craziness of the outside world through my phone and social media. I have found that I rarely spent time with only myself. I think that I took the time I can spend with my own thoughts and feelings for granted and have been wasting alone time by staring at a screen or filling my head with things that don’t matter. I think that it is really important that everyone knows exactly who they are without other people around. I want to be able to truly know who I am without the buzz of my phone or the constant stimulation of Netflix or Tiktok. I have learned  not to take for granted the time that I can spend learning who I am alone.

  1. Compassion

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is the strength of human compassion. I have learned how devastating and hurtful it can be when people don’t have compassion for others, and how beautiful and progressive it is when people put compassion first. So much positive change can come when people are able to see each other’s beauty and capability. It’s so important to never take the strength of compassion for granted and I’ve learned to always make sure that I put compassion first.