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One Of The Biggest Lessons I Have Learned Throughout The Pandemic

Wow, what a year this has been. With the world constantly spinning around us, it is crucial to make sure that we are grounded. The most helpful way I have found to do this is to ensure that I am being fulfilled by the activities that I fill my time with. Whether it’s a rewarding part-time job or a club I participate in, I want my activities to be a space where I am built up and not dragged down. If this past year has taught me one thing, it’s how to identify when I am in a negative state and to not be afraid to change it!

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For instance, during those dark pandemic days where it was truly terrifying to even think of going outside, I had to keep finding the little things that made me happy. I first tried to do new things every day like try out a new TikTok trend or sleep in, but I wasn’t used to not having a routine. Then, when I formed a semi-normal one which included multi-hour long puzzles and periods of school work, I was able to find joy once again. Trial and error led me to find sanity amongst the chaos. 

Fast forward to six months later and I have adjusted myself to new spaces, like clubs where I can pursue my interests and new places of work. Going through the process of adjustment can be scary. However, I learned that listening to my gut is one of the best things I can do. Most recently, I found myself not enjoying what should have been a super fun part-time job. Being able to identify that this situation was not making me happy and then being able to find another outlet where I could have fun while working was one of the best things I ever did for myself. We shouldn't be comfortable in a situation that isn’t letting us be the fullest version of ourselves. We have to allow one door to close for another to open. 

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Even though this pandemic was truly a dark time for many, I am incredibly fortunate that I was given time to self-reflect. Knowing your body’s cues on when it is unhappy is the second most important thing we can do for ourselves. The first is not to be afraid of the change that it will take to make yourself shine again. 2020 taught us how to adapt to unexpected changes. Let’s utilize the skills we were given and allow 2021 to be the year of us. I encourage everyone reading this to do things because they make you happy and are what you want to do. Don’t be afraid of change!

Ava Burford is a junior at UCLA. She is passionate about uplifting others through her writing, philanthropic work and blog. She is apart of the sorority Pi Beta Phi and enjoys running and being with her family in her free time.
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