What I've Learned From Quarantine

Somewhere around two months into quarantine, I couldn’t help but think about what my life will be like after this is over. Will it be exactly the same? I didn’t need lots of time to figure out it will not be. A lot of things have been put on hold, canceled, “devalued," and in no way am I comparing myself to anyone right now. I realize that just having food and toilet paper in the house, I am already better off than a lot of people right now.

Nonetheless, I want to share with you what I have learned during quarantine, as well as what I will refrain from doing and what I will start doing the minute everything goes back to “normal." 

  1. 1. Material goods don't matter

    a person sits crosslegged on the ground folding laundry, including jeans and shirts which sit in piles before them

    For the first time in my life, I understand that material things such as clothes, jewelry, etc, simply don't matter. All of my stuff (literally more than half of my clothes) are sitting in my dorm and I am a state away from them. And I’m fine. I’m living. Sure, I’d love to have them all with me, but what I’m seeing right now is that self-education (like learning Spanish online, watching documentaries, reading) gives me much more calmness and fulfilment than what I wear. I will never buy a lot of things again, and I'll only keep the things that I can take with me wherever I go. 

  2. 2. We spend WAY too much money on coffee

    coffee is poured into a glass cup on a counter. there is a carton of oat milk next to it

    I never realized how much money I spend buying coffee. Now that I'm forced to make coffee at home, nothing’s really changed. I mean sure, I can’t take a cute, aesthetically pleasing latte pic because the only thing I am capable of doing with my coffee machine is pouring some milk over it, but who cares? I get the same practicality out of it. From now on, instead of buying coffee multiple times a week, I will only buy it once a week as a treat, not as an everyday occurrence. 

  3. 3. Don't hesitate to tell people how you feel

    two women sit on a swing set. they are facing each other.

    Sometimes it is better to be bold than sorry. Being unable to see or talk to people in person because of quarantine really puts into perspective all the things you should've said when you had the chance. 

  4. 4. Say "I love you" more

    Love One Another

    Swallow your pride and tell the ones that you love your feelings. Tomorrow might not come. 

  5. 5. When applying for jobs, get out of your comfort zone

    Person Pointing at Black and Gray Film Camera Near Macbook Pro

    When travel restrictions are finally lifted, I'm sure we're all going to spend some time traveling and getting out of our quarantine bubbles. Luckily, many of us will also be applying to jobs and internships during this time. Be open to accepting a job beyond your comfort zone, like in a different state or even a different country, and make up for all of the unique experiences you missed out on during the pandemic.

  6. 6. Learn something new

    Hawaii Girl Happy Biking Fun Peace

    Knowledge is the magic pill that kills boredom, and it is so versatile. Make videos you’ve always wanted to try recording, learn that language, dye your hair on your own, whatever; it’s the experience of the action that will stay with you forever. My favorite activities that I’ve been doing are watching Netflix documentaries, learning Spanish, practicing yoga, biking, and running. 

So much can be taken away from you, but nothing can take your knowledge, your character, and your discipline. Now, looking back at my college life, there are so many things I didn’t do because I was simply afraid of what others might think of me. I’ve missed out on events, social connections, dressing up, etc. What quarantine taught me the most is to never let the opinions of other people dictate my actions, and to never let my own fear control me. Get that piercing, talk to that person, travel to that place, because you never know if tomorrow might not come. Don’t plan, just do. Sometimes it’s better to act than to plan. Life might not give you the time that you’re so reliant on.

Stay safe everyone! Good luck with your exams!


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