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How I Am Using Social Distancing as an Opportunity for Self-Improvement

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

When school was moved online indefinitely a couple of weeks ago, I was crushed. I watched all of my friends pack up their belongings to head home, stocked up on food and cleaning supplies, and struggled to come to terms with the fact that I will not get to celebrate my undergraduate graduation.


Despite the difficult transitions that COVID-19 has asked me to make, I feel that the past few weeks have given me an opportunity that I would not have had otherwise. Being largely separated from the outside world has called me to become more in touch with my thoughts and more excited about my future.


In the past few weeks, I have started setting aside time on a daily basis for reflection and exercise. The self-reflection aspect of my social distancing journey has not necessarily been an intentional quest for character growth, but a natural byproduct of spending a lot more time alone. I have started thinking of every day as a sort of self-discovery adventure, in which I think critically about what brings me joy and how I can incorporate those practices into my daily life. So far, I have ramped up the amount of running and strength training that I do in a week, started talking to my parents more frequently, maximized my daily dose of sunshine, and dove into a new 1,000 page history book. And, at this point in time, I am actually feeling much more content with my life (in many regards) than I was just a few short weeks ago.


Furthermore, having more time to think and plan has been super helpful as I contemplate my post-college goals. I went into social distancing with a growth mindset, motivated to solidify my reasons for wanting to serve in a community service position and attend law school after my graduation. I have dedicated about an hour every day to job and school research, and have been allowing myself to seriously consider the roles I want to play in my local and global communities moving forward. This reflection has renewed my motivation to delve enthusiastically into my LSAT studies and remain calm as I await news from the Peace Corps.


As you navigate the challenges of being separated from friends and family, taking classes online, job uncertainty, and any other hardship that COVID-19 is causing in your lives, here is my plea to you: take some time to self-reflect, pursue your passions, and dream into your future during stolen moments of silence.

Megan Turner is studying Spanish and Political Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. In her free time she enjoys long-distance running, painting, and spending time with friends.