By Georgia Wyess
I’ll be honest: quarantine wasn’t that bad. Yes, there were times I wished I could see my friends and go outside without having to walk in the middle of the street—safely—when I saw someone walking towards me on the sidewalk. However, when the pandemic hit, I was desperate for a break and the quarantine provided just that. Rather than spending countless hours away from home working on school work and extracurricular activities, I found myself sleeping in and able to appreciate the smaller moments—like listening to the birds outside my window every morning.
Nonetheless, one thing is for sure: when the pandemic hit, I didn’t think it would last this long; we were promised a month, not a year. Due to the length of time spent away from people, there has been a plethora of ups and downs—times when I convinced myself the state we lived in was fine, and times I would have given up anything to make the world go back to normal. Fortunately, with these trials and tribulations, there have come countless lessons that will guide the way I walk through life:
- Don’t take anything for granted: it’s a simple one but one that is oh so prevalent. Before the pandemic hit, COVID-19 was a far-away virus that didn’t have the power to harm anyone. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything was taken away. I still remember telling one of my teachers “see you on Monday” as I walked out of the classroom, unaware that I wouldn’t see him again until graduation. Quarantine was abrupt, as most things in life are, so appreciate the moment because the truth of the matter is, you never know when something will end, or when something will begin.
- Stay in touch with those closest to you: I have been fortunate enough to have a group of friends that makes an effort to see each other—masked and socially distanced—at parks or for bike rides; I couldn’t be more grateful. Being around other people may seem like a chore to some, but interaction is important and I highly encourage even talking to someone you might not have. We are social animals, it’s in our nature to spend time with others.
- Remember that you’re doing your best: Its easy to overwhelm yourself during the pandemic with the thoughts of “what if?” Volunteering, jobs, and any other plans you may have had switched to online, or were terminated all together. The opportunities were there once, and they will come again; there might be an even better one in the future. Know that what you have done is your best, and sometimes, taking a step back and congratulating yourself on what you have done—not ridiculing yourself on what you haven’t—may do you some good.
The future is wildly unpredictable. You never know what will happen next year, next month, tomorrow, or even in the next hour. Whatever happens, remind yourself that you’re truly only along for the ride, and make the best of each experience.