“In the midst of a global pandemic, while the safest and most sensible option is to stay home, it feels like your life– and the lives of so many others– have been put on hold. There’s not a lot to look forward to. Plans have been cancelled, we’ve been separated from friends and family, and the news cycle is confusing at best, disheartening at worst, and overall, far too chaotic for our liking. With a lack of big life events and social gatherings to keep us occupied, we’ve had to find new things to be excited about, new moments to anticipate. Sometimes those moments are as simple as dropping off groceries to your grandparents, and sometimes they’re as monumental as the birth of a child, but it helps to look for the everyday adventures.”Phoebe Pineda, Student
Share your journey and why this is important to you
My first year of college was suddenly disrupted by COVID-19, so I’ve spent the past few months in mourning. I grieved the loss of the friends I’d made, the life I’d carved out for myself, the spring quarter I would never get back–and, more than that, I found myself missing the little things. The last two months I spent on campus were some of the most memorable times I’ve ever had. Being on my own for the first time, each day felt like an event in itself, and every small errand felt like an adventure: the bus rides to my therapist’s office on rainy afternoons, traversing across the overpass to Trader Joe’s to buy chocolate at 7:30 on a weeknight, going out for boba and sesame balls at two in the morning with friends, all the way down to buying groceries or waiting on the curb for the express back to campus. Those are the moments I cherish the most, and I have no idea when, or if, I’ll be able to experience them again.
When I came home, I was tempted to sleep my way through quarantine, hoping one day I’d wake up, everything would be normal again, and I could go back to campus. I hoped I could wake up and just live my life the way I wanted. I’ve come to realize that nothing is certain, and that in times of crisis, we can’t just stop living our lives. We keep growing. We keep moving forward. We have to make the best of what we’ve got, which means taking advantage of your limited outdoor time and the resources at your disposal. It means finding ways to make these less-than-ideal circumstances a little more bearable. In shelter-in-place, that meant finding time to get outside of the house whenever I could, whether it was going for walks or riding shotgun while my parents ran errands. I’ve discovered more about my neighborhood in the past few months than in the almost two decades I’ve lived here, and there is always more to notice, more to explore.
How would you like to inspire others?
Quarantine boredom is unavoidable; quarantine anxiety, even more so. Still, there are ways to make the best of it, even while keeping yourselves and the people around you safe and healthy. Find new ways to make adventures. Whether it’s going for a walk or jog around the neighborhood, hunting down a comet, or taking the long way home from the store, there are journeys to be found in unexpected places. Wear masks, stay six feet apart, and be mindful of those around you, but also: don’t forget to have fun.
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