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It’s been almost a year since we’ve been dealing with the pandemic but the effects are still the same. Many of us had job opportunities or internship opportunities lost due to the pandemic and many of us had to adapt to online learning because of the social distancing restrictions. Despite all of this, some of us have been able to learn new skills, grow new businesses and make more money during this pandemic. A few of my friends, for example, have been able to expand their brand and learn new skills to benefit them financially. Many websites like Skillshare and MasterClass have had deals in order to make their online classes more affordable.

While it is nice to gain a new skill or two as a result of being home, there have been many people on social media pushing the narrative that one must be completely productive during this pandemic. One tweet that illustrated this perfectly is the following: ”If you don’t come out of this quarantine with either: 1.) a new skill, 2.) starting what you’ve been putting off like a new business or 3.) more knowledge, You didn’t ever lack the time, you lacked the discipline”. Seeing this made my blood boil.

Grind culture or hustle culture, isn’t a new thing. Even before the pandemic, there was still this need for us to work or learn a new skill outside of our careers and education. While this culture has allowed us to create new startups and inspire new projects, this idea of being “productive” all the time is toxic. Overworking yourself is detrimental for your health and it can ruin the quality of your work. It even ruins the balance of your work and personal life.

The pandemic hasn’t helped detox this culture. People are losing their lives and they are still readjusting to the changes COVID has made to their lives. It has isolated many people from their loved ones and family, which has many negative effects on mental health. Additionally, others’ home environment is not conducive for work.

Even if you did not gain any new skills or create a new business during this global health crisis, you have already done enough by merely surviving and persevering in this pandemic. Ignore the random Twitter users who call you “lazy” or “undisciplined”; protecting your family and yourself is the most important thing during quarantine.

Mofi Popoola

GA Tech '22

Mofi is a 4th year MSE major from West Georgia. She loves visiting new places, discovering new music, and volunteering around the community.
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