Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Chapel Hill chapter.

With the amount of times the media has used the word “unprecedented” in the past several weeks, I think we all realize that we are living through a moment in history. It is interesting to think about how, just a month ago, our minds were focused on midterms and spring break plans. One of my professors brought up something that has been on my mind. She mentioned that, in addition to all of our responsibilities at home, we might think about keeping a journal specifically for our time during this pandemic. 

This brings to mind several questions. How do we interact with a moment like this? If our kids ask us what it was like to live through a pandemic, what will we say? Do we have a responsibility to participate in the moment, to remember it and to make sure we are better prepared if history were to repeat itself? If so, how do we participate? How do we live in this moment?

The phrase “make the most of it” sounds a little bit perverse when we apply it to a crisis such as this virus. It is better associated with college or high school experiences. However, I think we can use it to decide how we want to live our lives while in quarantine. First and foremost, we must take care of our responsibilities at home, especially our responsibility to take care of the physical and mental well-being of ourselves and our loved ones. Next come responsibilities like school work, jobs, housework and whatever else you need to do. 

After making sure our responsibilities are taken care of, there are two other tasks that could be considered “participating” in the moment: helping out where you can and staying informed. The number one way to help, of course, is to follow the advice of health officials. If you stay uninfected, you cannot infect others. Social distancing and all that. Another way to help is by supporting local businesses. Apps like Postmates offer discounts for getting food delivered from local restaurants. The other half of “participating” involves staying informed. Living in an internet and social media era is great, but it also means everyone and his or her mother has an opinion. And, sometimes, people share information that does more harm than good. It is hard to stay accurately informed, but there are reputable institutions, like The New York Times, making their coronavirus coverage free. News podcasts are a fantastic way to stay informed, as well. 

Finally, if you’ve got all the other bases covered (responsibilities, helping out and staying informed), you can tackle remembrance and appreciation. This goes back to what my professor said about keeping a journal. Self-growth can be as simple as internalizing your gratitude for everything you have. As you wake up in your own bed, open a window and appreciate the sounds and fresh air of your hometown. Lie down and listen to the sounds of your family and friends bustling about your home. And take a moment for yourself. Be grateful for everything you’ve become. 

We’ve all lost something, be it the college experience, internship or travel opportunities, jobs or, worst of all, our loved ones. Living in this moment is tough. Nevertheless, we will live through it.

Katie Jackson

Chapel Hill '23

Katie is an undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill. She is part of the Campus Y Outreach Taskforce and HYPE Tutoring. Interested in sustainability, economics, and global culture and policy, Katie plans to study business, public policy, and environmental sciences. Katie loves her kitten named Hiccup (yes, from How to Train Your Dragon), her two dogs, her other kitten (even though it is technically her sister's) and her cat.