How COVID-19 Caused Me to Rethink My Whole Life

From the young age of 12 years old, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a marine biologist. Everything about the job appealed to me, like swimming in the ocean, being around marine life, and most importantly, being in the sun 24/7. I was always prepared for when I would get hit with the same question every Thanksgiving or Christmas: “So, what do you want to do when you’re older?”. My answer was always the same: “Move to California to become a marine biologist,”. 

As I got older, my stubborn self would never budge when I would get asked that question. I knew that consistency was key and that was exactly what I was striving for. Even though I hated taking biology in high school and could barely pass a math test, I knew that I wanted to prove everyone wrong and accomplish my statement of five years. That is until the world got hit with a pandemic. 

It was like I was living the same day over and over again. I would wake up, run laps at the outdoor track, get ready for the day, do school work, eat food, watch a show, and go to bed. That was the whole routine for a few months during the lockdown. Every single day was the same. I tried to change it up every once in a while when I would bake something or run somewhere else, but there are only so many places you can go during a pandemic.

That’s when I started to become a mini Gordon Ramsay. I would cook dinners almost every week. My Pinterest board was filled with recipes of all different types of cuisines. My family and I always had some sort of fresh bread made, as it was one of my favorite things to bake. I had come to the realization that I loved to cook. It was like my very own private vacation. I would be sucked into a zone when I cooked that no one else could get into. 

Cooking became therapeutic for me. After every augment I had with my parents, or if I just needed to let off some steam, I would simply get into the kitchen and make whatever my heart wanted me to make. Cooking went from something that I dreaded doing to something that I couldn’t wait to do. 

After a lot of long thoughts and discussions not only with my family but with myself, I knew that I had to pursue a career that would allow me to put my two passions together: writing and cooking. That’s when I picked up the new dream of becoming a food critic. I have high ambitions for my future self to look like Anton Ego from Ratatouille.  

When I came to this realization, I knew that my marine biology dream had to be put to rest. Of course, I still love the ocean, its animals, and everything in between, but I knew deep, deep down it wasn’t going to work. As previously stated, I could barely pass a math test and hated taking biology. Biology is literally in the job title! 

The stubbornness within me hated the idea of telling my extended family that I had completely changed my consistent answer. But I knew within my core that I was making the best decision for me. 

Now, as a freshman starting my journey as a journalism major, I am looking forward to the challenges that will be placed before me. But then again, I feel like I have to thank something for my recent change in mind.

So, thank you, COVID-19...I think?