A picture of the sunset in San Diego

How COVID-19 Made Me Realize That I Take My Life For Granted

The layers of conversations occurring at once in a crowded cafe on a Saturday morning. The sounds of the ocean waves as you sit on the sand with your loved ones. The loud music blaring through the speakers during a Thursday night party. These are all sounds that I will not hear for a long time. 

A picture of me and my friend Ava Brooke Sagun

The tight grip of a hug from your best friend. Your hands intertwined with someone you love. The feelings of warmth as your feet become immersed with sand. These are all sensations that I did not think twice about a month ago.

Eating breakfast with my best friends every morning. Resting on Janss Steps after my classes with a beautiful view of Royce Hall in the distance. Drinking coffee at outrageous hours of the night with my friends, knowing that none of us will get any sleep. These are the routines that I miss with my whole heart. 

I completely understand the important implications of staying inside, and I am aware that I am extremely privileged to be healthy and safe. These feelings are simply my raw thoughts of starting the spring quarter online. Today, as I stay inside due to the shelter-in-place orders, I reminisce about how extraordinarily different my life was a month ago. One month ago, I would have been sitting at Kerckhoff Coffee House stressing about deciding on a major. I would have been wondering how I will ever be successful in life, especially if I could not even pass one chemistry class without having a breakdown every other day. I would not have noticed the beauty of Moore Hall looming in the distance, the large groups of people talking around me, the cute dogs that always seem to be roaming UCLA or the beautiful sounds of the bells that remind me that I am late to class. I would not have given those sounds or sights a second thought. Now, as I am sitting in the silent lecture hall that is my bedroom, I would do anything to feel those sensations, hear those sounds or return to my daily routine that I once took for granted. 

A picture of Royce Hall Brooke Sagun

I long to hear a professor tell students in a large lecture hall to quiet down as class begins. I long to see everyone in themed costumes at a party after a long day of school. I long to pet a dog as I am relaxing on Janss Steps. As cliche as it might sound, I truly did not understand what I had until it was gone. I spent so many days complaining or worrying about things that would eventually be worked out naturally instead of appreciating all the beauty around me.  

COVID-19 has truly taught me that I take my life for granted. I am so grateful for the freedom that I experience each and every day, and because that freedom is currently limited, I do not think that I will ever take it for granted again. I will never take crowded dance floors for granted again. I will never take Saturday morning coffee dates with my friends for granted again. I will never take the roar of a large stadium, the cheering of a concert, or the energy of busy gyms in the morning for granted again. I will never take life itself for granted again.