The summer of 2020 turned out to be a lot different than most of us expected. What I had hoped would be a summer of fun and freedom turned out to be one of fear, anxiety, and isolation. I, like so many others, found myself thrown into a situation unlike anything I’d ever experienced. My summer employment was canceled, I could no longer see my friends, and I would be stuck at home for an indefinite amount of time. After five months of quarantine, I’m back at college and have been able to reflect a bit on my experience the past few months. I’ve begun to realize that, despite the obvious negatives of forced isolation, quarantine has taught me a lot about myself, and it has given me a great deal of perspective I don’t think I would have achieved otherwise. Here are 4 of the top things I learned after being in isolation.
- The Importance of Family
Before the pandemic, I had never really understood how much I took my family for granted. Sure, I knew they would always support me, and I could always reach out to them for help, but spending five months with them allowed me to recognize how special that connection is. Being able to vent to my parents about the stress of the future and rely on them for support has made going through a pandemic 10x more doable.
- Social Life Needs Prioritizing
I always thought of myself as an introverted person, but the past few months made me realize that social interaction is actually something I value quite a bit. Not being able to go out with my friends took a greater toll on me than I had thought it would, and I realized I would have to be much more proactive at staying in touch with people I cared about. Facetime with friends and planning socially distant get-togethers made staying in isolation a little more bearable.
- Routines Are a Must
Finishing the semester online forced so many students (myself included) into a whole new realm of learning. After a few weeks of chaos, I began to realize that my productivity would only continue if I established some sort of routine for myself. And while being at home made me feel as though I could relax and sleep in, I had to force myself to get up at a reasonable time and do my work at my desk instead of laying in bed.
- No Challenge Is Insurmountable
At the start of quarantine, I truly didn’t think I’d be able to handle a whole summer inside while also finishing my semester and trying to plan for the next year. I often felt anxious and lost, yet I came out the other side a stronger, better person. The challenges of COVID certainly haven’t ended, but I’m so much more confident in my ability to adapt and accept life’s changes, no matter how drastic they are.
2020 has thrown the world a series of curveballs, and no one knows exactly what the rest of the year holds. Yet, despite this year’s uncertainty, I feel confident that we all can take something positive away from the hardships we’ve faced.