Some Things Never Change
The Age of Corona has been quite a tumultuous time. I could have never anticipated an end to my junior year that would play out in this way. It’s so easy to dwell on the negatives associated with social distancing and the lifestyle changes that happened in the blink of an eye. There are so many hardships that many have encountered from this pandemic that sent the world into a 180-degree tailspin. With that being said, my newfound free time has left me pondering my college, and even life, experiences thus far. In a time spattered with dizzying change and uncertainty, I want to point out the constants that have remained. Thinking about, and showing gratitude for, the unchanging elements of my life has helped me feel comforted and grounded.
For starters, one of my roommates is staying in Chapel Hill with me. Some of you may remember Kila as the calm, collected friend from the blog where I reflect on cutting my finger on a can of pinto beans (curse you, manual can opener!) Having her here helps monumentally with feeling less lonely. Just as always, she’s here to watch true crime documentaries with me and cook for both of us. Today she made turkey meatballs with homemade tzatziki sauce! I’m grateful to have her here; she makes this unprecedented time seem much less overwhelming.
My boyfriend, James, is also still in town. I feel horrible that the UNC seniors have had so many of their traditions and rewards taken out from under them. My heart breaks that he’s missing out on graduation and one last spring on this beautiful campus. Having him nearby means I can support him through this difficult time. He’s another person who always shows me love and appreciation, and that validation helps me in turn.
I can still communicate with my family via FaceTime and our iMessage group chat. My immediate family is pretty big; I have two parents and three siblings that are 24, 17 and 8 years old, respectively. They are all quarantining together under one roof in Charlotte. It’s nice to catch up with them and see how they’re doing at home. Just as I was walking to Target a few hours ago, I called my mom up to give her my daily update. In this time of anxiety and fear of the unknown, keeping in touch with my family helps me remember where I came from and feel connected to my roots.
Even though my apartment’s gym is closed, I still get in some exercise at home with my personal mini trampoline. Since high school, one of my favorite ways to sweat has been jumping on my trampoline and playing music. Weird, I know, but it works for me. I get to zone out and forget about everything else going on when I’m just jumping away. Especially during quarantine, it’s a great way to relax and clear my mind.
I’m still working at the front desk for my apartment building. For me, keeping a job is the best possible way to maintain a solid schedule. Additionally, it is a privilege for me to have money coming in at this time. Something that has been weighing heavily on my mind is the sheer number of people who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus. I cannot fathom the stress and pressure that anyone in that situation is feeling. The fact that over 139,000 North Carolina residents have filed for unemployment is heartbreaking. I hope that every employer goes out of their way to show empathy and understanding toward their employees. It’s imperative now more than ever.
Social media is popping off more than ever. I always say that Twitter is at its peak when there’s a world crisis going on. Also, TikTok is currently full of families’ shenanigans as they quarantine together. These timely posts give people something to talk about and make memes that share society’s collective perspective on an issue. In my second blog for this week, I’m talking more about the power of humor. It’s a strong coping mechanism for me and many others I know. It reflects our mindset in a more lighthearted way. We’re currently being bombarded with negative news in the press, so it’s nice to see humor come out in people’s social media posts.
I certainly don’t blame anybody for having a pessimistic outlook on life’s state of affairs right now. It’s not a great time to be in the workforce or to be a college student. So many monumental events like weddings and graduations have been pushed away. There’s nothing wrong with going through the emotions of grief, anger and fear. Anyone who’s telling you otherwise needs a dose of reality. With that being said, thinking about the things in your life that haven’t changed can provide some peace of mind. Reflecting on COVID-19 has cemented this idea in my mind that I have always known to be true: the people in your life are far more important than the places or things.