Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Her Campus Hofstra or Her Campus Media.
Let’s call it like it is: I think everyone (except the most extreme of introverts) can agree that social distancing sucks.
And not, like, “I can’t believe I paid $11 for that salad” sucks. It’s just objectively awful, point blank. No one is to blame, and it’s the right thing to do at this moment, but like I said. Sucks.
Not being able see and to talk to people in person is an unbelievable hindrance. For one, it affects work and school environments. Students of all levels are now forced to complete online assignments, and not getting the proper education they deserve, or in some cases, are paying for. (That’s a separate conversation.) Additionally, to put it very plainly, human beings were made to be social creatures. We need human interaction to be able to thrive, so not being able to have any tangible connection is difficult. And, just like everyone else, I’ve had things forced out of my grasp by this pandemic. Events, jobs, travel plans… you name it, someone’s had to sacrifice it. So, it goes without saying that this time has been tough for everyone.
I’ve spent many a night in my room, letting my head race about the unexpected absurdity of all this. Usually, I’m not the type of person that likes to be alone with my thoughts, I’d rather provide myself a distraction so I don’t start thinking too deeply about irrelevant things — but during this time, I’ve enjoyed being able to have some time to slow down and reflect, which I think is something everyone needs to do more often.
There are certain things in life that have a funny way of changing your perspective. It might be a breakup, a falling out with a family member or maybe you got fired from your job. Point being, we all experience tough losses that often make us harp on the “what ifs” of life. This global pandemic (I’m sorry I know that phrase is redundant!!!!) has been one of those things for me, and I’m sure for many others as well.
Since this period of social isolation has started, I can’t help but think about all the things I take for granted. I can’t tell you how many times I would drudge through Penn Station, dreading the busy day of work ahead of me at my internship, or the times I walked home from a friend’s house late at night in the cold, wishing I were doing literally anything other than that.
At this point, I would give anything to be dragging myself through Penn Station at rush hour again.
It’s so easy to take the smallest things for granted. In a time where we’re all forced to sit down and take a social breather, I’ve found it useful to focus on really simple, unchanging things that I’m grateful for in everyday life. Whether it’s the birds singing outside of your window in the morning, or the way a friend’s laugh makes you smile — there are lots of things to smile about in life, even in these uncertain and scary times.
Obviously we can’t ignore the personal crises that many are suffering now, like life inconveniences, job losses, family emergencies, etc., due to coronavirus. These tragedies are valid, and luckily, there are ways we can help. Small acts of kindness, like donating to a charity that is providing relief for coronavirus victims, going to the grocery store for someone you know that is immunocompromised, or even something as simple as calling your friend who’s having hard time, can go a long way. We can all do our part to make the world a better place when the forces of nature are set against us.
Furthermore, and on a lighter note, I hope this social distancing period encourages people to be bolder when it’s all over. Tell people how you feel about them! Do that thing you’ve been putting off because you’re too scared! Ask that person out! Go crazy!
I fixate over silly things every day, overthinking my every move, and for what? If there’s anything quarantine has made me realize, it’s that at the end of the day, the person you should be most concerned about is yourself. So, as long as what you’re doing isn’t gonna hurt someone else, do what you want without reservations, and be proud of who you are.
As terrifying as this global disease outbreak is, at the end of the day, maybe it’ll bring us some clarity about how we should be living our lives. Don’t take anything in life for granted, and do what you wanna do — two things we should all be practicing anyway.