Light in the Time of COVID-19

With COVID-19 being in full swing and people being quarantined to their homes, optimism and being productive can be hard. During this strange time we are living in, there are ups and downs, but we still need to be able to push through each day. I definitely struggle with seeing the good amongst the bad, so I’d like to share what I’ve been doing to cope.

Though my classes have moved online, I have actually been enjoying them. I usually dislike online courses due to the lack of a classroom environment and connection with the professor and other classmates, which is why I have only ever taken one. However, this time is different. The hardcore online class structure does not exist since the classes I am taking are traditionally on-campus. These professors have had to move online which is something they have never done. Plus, with the amazing application of Zoom, we are able to have class time and one-on-one through video chat. The other plus side is that I’m actually not procrastinating on homework. Since it is online, I can start the assignments the day they are assigned rather than having whole days packed with attending classes.

I’ve become better with time management since COVID-19, in school and personal life. I’ve cleaned out the storage shed connected to my apartment and converted it into an art space. One of the most devastating parts of COVID-19 for me was the loss of my personal studio space on campus and the access to Loso Hall. However, after stressing about how I was going to work from home, I was able to create my own studio space! I’ve also been learning to cook and bake more, some things I’ve made are carrot cake, banana bread, and naan bread. I’ve also been getting outside more! I am taking an online hiking class that requires doing five hikes this term, but besides being assigned those, I’ve also been walking in my neighborhood and exploring the general area. I can’t believe I’ve lived in the area my whole life and never hiked at the Mount Emily Recreational Area (MERA). It’s a beautiful place with many trails to explore and I can’t wait to go back to hike more of it!

This time in my life is very different and strange; I have more time to do things rather than procrastinate and rush to finish. I think a reason for this is because this is the last term of my undergraduate studies. I haven’t a capstone to prepare for, any unexpected general education classes, or needed to panic over the unknowns I would normally encounter in school. I definitely was feeling stressed at the beginning of COVID-19, but now that I know what is expected, I am less worried. I am still extremely busy with school, making artwork, and working at Walmart and the Voice newspaper for EOU, but I feel like I am actually bettering myself. In the past four years, I really let myself go, telling myself I’d do things tomorrow rather than today, I didn’t focus on myself like I should have. However, I am finally finding the balance within school, work, and life. So I think in a way there is some good to this whole situation.

There are so many things I’ve always wanted to do but never made the time to do them. It was just another thing I put off. I avoided taking care of myself which led to many downsides. I think because of COVID-19 I realized that this is the time for change, to stop being lazy and start changing myself for the better. I definitely don’t want things to go back to ‘normal’, because my old normal was not healthy. I wallowed, beat myself up, and had a pessimistic outlook on life. Now I’m seeing hope and am excited for all the things I can do with this time.

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