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On the last day before spring break, there I was, standing in the doorway of my now-empty room, in my almost completely emptied apartment. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the future of learning was uncertain, just like my feeling about when the next time I would get to see that Castle everyday. As I closed that door to my apartment in Oak, a wave of melancholy hit me, one that would drag with me through the rest of that semester.
Just as most people were, I was down in the dumps about not going back to class. I could not really focus on school, and I became a lazy student. Nonetheless, I pushed through and made it to summer.
Fortunately for me, the virus did not affect my life too much, so things got back somewhat on track. I was hopeful to return to campus this semester, but that did obviously not happen. But instead of going back to the dumps, I took this opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons, and let me tell you the end result is sweet. I want to help you make your own!
As I wrote in my first post, I began to see Zoom as a blessing rather than a curse. I used this time at home to become a better person, for myself, and for other people around me. I believe everyone can better themselves, and all it takes is being honest and open with yourself. Religion is a big part of my life, so I use that to help me meditate and guide me on the path to being my best self. Religion is not necessary though: reading books, articles, and blogs help (you are already doing the last one, so good job!). So does listening to podcasts or studying philosophy.
I understand I am probably one of the only people who enjoys philosophy, so I really stress the podcast one. But you don’t even have to use those things either. You know yourself better than anyone else, so just let it all out. I find that writing this stuff down helps me because it allows me to keep track of my routine and also I am able to see the progress I am making. So grab a notebook or something, and let’s start journaling.
I find it best to go somewhere quiet that does not have a lot of foot traffic, or head to your favorite spot. The best part about quarantine is that you are at home; it’s your turf. You know the best spots, so use them to your advantage! Once you get there, just let your heart and mind flow. Put all your thoughts out there, good or bad. I know you’re a smart person. You can spot good and bad behaviors in yourself, but you have to be willing to check your ego at the door. Most of the things you don’t like about yourself you can change, but it takes time.
This is a long process, one I have started many years ago that I’m not even close to finishing. You will come to realize that it’s all about the journey, not the destination. You and I will never be perfect people, but we can always strive to be, everyday. To me, the act of trying sometimes is more important than the action itself. If you have good intentions, that is all that matters, because sometimes your good intentions get misconstrued by others. But this journaling, this introspective reflection, is so important.
You are solely in control of everything that happens. You can quit anytime you want—heck, you don’t even have to start. But we are going to be online again next semester, so you will have plenty of time to get started on this. I don’t want this to seem like an overwhelming task either. Take it day by day, just like every other thing in your life. I want you to own this time online, do not let it own you. Take each day independent of the other, and do the most you can before tomorrow.
Because tomorrow is not guaranteed, ever, but one thing is for certain: You have the ability to change your life and make yourself a better person today.