Maintaining Positivity During COVID-19 Mania

I know that the last thing you want to read more about is anything pertaining to the current COVID-19 outbreak. Trust me, I do. However, during this incredibly stressful time, I couldn’t bring myself to write about anything other than what’s already on everyone’s minds. Instead of focusing on the negatives, I instead want to share some positive thoughts of mine in hopes of shedding some light on your day.

First of all, to all of the seniors whose final semesters got cut short, those whose parents are feeling the pressure of not working, and those who just find themselves feeling ripped from their routine, my heart goes out to you. One wonderful thing that has caught my attention in the wake of recent events is the increased sense of solidarity and unity amongst college students. The community built off of an understanding that this situation is less than ideal provides me (and hopefully many others) with a much-appreciated comfort by lessening the effects of isolation that social distancing can induce. We are the only ones who truly understand how we feel (no matter how hard our parents may try) and we should continue to support each other as long as this crisis continues, and afterward as well.

Rather than focusing on what we have lost due to the changes to our semesters, finding little things to look forward to and acknowledging what we have to be grateful for will be extremely helpful in maintaining an optimistic outlook. Make note of the next sorority date function, the happiness you’ll feel the next time you hug your best friend, the mountains you could hike this summer, the road trips you could take, and absolutely anything else that makes you smile. Take this time to read a book you enjoy, organize your room, or simply catch up on sleep. There is a lot of pressure on social media right now to be extremely productive while staying at home and I want to emphasize that there is absolutely nothing (!!) wrong with using your free time to unwind. Each and every person has their own way to handle stress and process this situation, so you should do what feels natural for you and brings you peace. 

I hadn’t realized just how many everyday things in my routine at Wake that I had taken for granted. I hope that many of you will take a moment to think of the seemingly minuscule joys that you miss, and make sure to appreciate them more once life resumes as normal. The nightly dinners with friends, putting on makeup and getting ready to go out, sitting next to your friend in class, and walking across campus in the sunshine, to name a few. 

I miss these things and my best friends dearly, and I’m sure you do too. So please continue to stay home and wash your hands to do your part in flattening the curve and stopping the spread. Before we know it, we will all be back on campus and what a time that will be! As Ernest Hemingway said, “night is always darker before the dawn and life is the same, the hard times will pass, everything will get better and the sun will shine brighter than ever.”