“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well you might just find, you get what you need.” -The Rolling Stones
Being sent home last spring was hard. But for most, quarantine was even harder. It was an undeniably stressful time that brought out the worst in people. The fallout to this negativity proved to be intense for some, and it was worsened when compounded with the lack of an escape the quarantine offered us. Simply put, this pandemic has made it so easy to be negative.
Now, over five months later, we are lucky enough to be back at school. But, campus doesn’t look quite the same. Things that used to be routine are no longer an option, and we are unable to see people as often as we did in the past. Last year, my friends and I would cherish our walks home from off-campus houses wherein we would blast music and tell each other about the people we met and the things that had happened. Oddly enough, this became the highlight of our nights. Now that this is no longer as feasible, it sometimes feels like we are going to another school.
This semester is going to be very, very different. Being different isn’t necessarily bad, though. I think we all need to take the time to adjust and alter our standards for what a “normal” college experience should be. Then, choose to be happy about going to college during a pandemic. This pandemic is unfortunately affecting everyone and some are hurting more than others. While this is disappointing and hard at times, I find comfort in the idea that we cannot control certain situations we are put in. Instead, we must acknowledge our circumstance and choose to respond with positivity. Believe happiness is a choice and pretty soon you will find joy in every single thing.
The idea of being happy in spite of everything happening currently might seem unrealistic and idealistic. Following the rules has unfortunately been warped into being a negative thing and it does not need to be. Yes, these rules have limited our options but they do allow us to be on campus. And shouldn’t that be enough? Negativity will not help anyone right now. I understand that people are worried about this pandemic and I am not trying to discount their concerns. But, I think there is a way to be concerned about the well beings of others while simultaneously spreading joy and happiness.
This pandemic has already taken so much from so many people. Acknowledge the power we have against this formidable foe and remember that each action you take has the potential to positively impact someone else. Also, appreciate that there is so much to be happy about right now.
[bf_image id="q7nls3-4mcif4-fznz2l"] For me, the best way I have found to be positive is through spreading it to others. Tell your friends you are so happy to be back on campus with them. Email your professor to show your appreciation for their efforts to make classes are normal as they can be currently. Reach out to Father Jenkins and tell him you are thankful for the work he has put in to keep us on campus.
Through campus wide positivity, we can help defeat the mindset that college and COVID-19 cannot coincide. Because even though they may seem incompatible, just because the pair is not ideal does not mean they must be separated.
Choose to be happy because others are not. Don’t let this pandemic get the best of you and instead, remember that happiness is a choice and is one you should be choosing to embrace. Choose to live the ND way and spread joy. I love Notre Dame because of how much it has given me. Now more than ever, we need to return the favor and give it the love it deserves.