Life Since Quarantine

My senior year of high school and my freshman year of college are going down in history. The class of 2020 was officially the most unlucky class in history. I had been looking forward to my high school graduation and the start of college ever since I could remember. I always pictured my graduation being this milestone that I could one day share with my future family. I always pictured my college experience to be “normal.” However, I, like most, will be telling my story a little bit differently than most. We have been through quarantine, masks and social distancing for a time that has felt like an eternity to some now. Throughout this process, I have learned how to rest, how to enjoy the simplicity of life itself, and to appreciate the normal that I once had. 

Rest. Rest is something that our society isn’t very good at. Our culture is accustomed to the ideal of a busy life because having a busy life is living a successful life: the “American Dream,” perhaps. Our busy life has been put on hold. We aren’t able to go to school for eight hours a day. We aren’t able to sit down at a restaurant or go to the gym to work out. This is the good that has come out of this quarantine. Families are able to spend time with one another. You are able to get an adequate amount of  sleep. You are able to just breathe and relax. 

Throughout this quarantine, I have realized that I set unrealistic expectations of always having to be productive and always filling up my time to keep my mind occupied. This experience has led me to relax, to sleep, to not overwhelm myself. I’ve binge-watched “Vampire Diaries” on Netflix, and I’ve slept for 12 hours straight, but I now know that my body was so exhausted from never recovering from all of the running that I’ve been putting myself through. It’s nice to rest, and I’ve learned that it’s okay to not always have to run. 

Without always having something to do, I have found myself embracing simplicity. I’ve learned that you don’t need to do something complex to have fun. For example, I have been working out at home, taking more walks outside and writing more. Walking outside has become a new stress reliever. It clears my head and calms my worries. I am now able to enjoy the outside world and take in everything that nature has to offer. This time isolated from everything else has led me to appreciate the world around me a little more. I’ve learned that you don’t have to go far from you to find something beautiful about the Earth. 

With all of this empty time, I have been able to occupy it with my thoughts. This quarantine has shown me that we shouldn't have taken for granted our “normal” before. Everyone always says that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and I have found that to be true. Honestly, high school wasn’t my favorite, but I’m going to miss the little things. The loss of these moments has let me appreciate what we once had. 

At the end of the day I am thankful. I am thankful for the opportunities that have come with this time. I am thankful that I have the time to clear my mind and to take in what our world has to offer. I am thankful for life before quarantine and I will be thankful for life after. With all of the negatives going on right now, it’s nice to reflect on all of the positives that this situation has brought. So just do that. Be you. Reflect. Think. Soak it all in and most importantly, rest.