5 things I have learned during COVID-19
1. BEING YOURSELF ISN'T ALWAYS EASY, BUT IT IS THE MOST FREEING EXPERIENCE.
I cannot count how many times someone has told me “just be yourself” and I completely ignored them. I felt like who I was was not good enough for the general public, and I was always seeking validation from those around me and worrying about every single misstep I made. However throughout my time of being isolated from everyone around me, I have come to have a greater understanding for myself, and therefore a greater appreciation for who I am.
2. TRUE COLORS REALLY DO SHINE THROUGH.
During these past nine months, I have been able to make so many new wonderful friends, however I have also unfortunately lost some. It is quite the unfortunate experience to lose a friend, but I have come to understand that letting go of a toxic person in your life is an amazingly relieving experience. It is easy to continually forgive a person for everything they have done because you may, like me, be optimistic that they will change, but nobody will ever change unless they really want to. It is very hard to let a person go- I understand that better than most people- but it is all for the best. Life is short and too beautiful to waste pleasing people that will only just take away all of your energy and create more negativity in your life than positivity.
3. IF APPLIED TO FOR THE WRONG REASONS, COLLEGE IS POINTLESS.
Yes fellow students- you heard me. College is an absolute waste of time IF you are only applying to please others. Of course there will always be a people-pleasing aspect of college, as it is an extremely important endeavor in obtaining a future career. I used to want to attend Harvard. I was so set on getting into an Ivy League school that I knew absolutely nothing about it except that it had prestigious reputation. I was distracted from some truly wonderful colleges and lost out on so many experiences. Of course if you want to apply to Harvard, please apply! I only wanted to apply because I wanted to impress my family and peers. Academic validation on its own is never a good reason to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into a college career. Currently my first choice is a much smaller, private liberal arts college, which I am very hopeful to attend, as it fully suits my personality and I genuinely like the mindset of the students and staff members alike. When applying to colleges, really make sure you like that college for YOU, not anybody else.
4. TREAT YOURSELF EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE! SELF CARE MATTERS!
Before quarantine, I was so used to overworking my body and always forcing myself into emotionally and physically taxing situations without giving my body any time for a bounce back. Considering how active of a person I normally am, it is very difficult to just sit still and find pleasure in the small simplicities of life. Once I reached that point however, I was able to really find a healthy way to unwind and care for my body mentally and physically. Making sure to check in with my doctor was also a crucial part of my self care journey. For years, I have been experiencing extreme forms of fatigue that proved to be very draining to my body. I kept pushing these symptoms away and figured it was just a blood sugar decrease. On the contrary, I finally went to the doctor and found out I had a very intense iron deficiency in my blood and was anemic, and immediately started taking iron supplements. Once I did this, I have rarely been fatigued except for normal reasons like a lack of sleep. Taking the simple steps to care for yourself and look after your body are so important and can really help improve your all around well-being. You are valid, and you are important.
5. TIME TO BE REFLECTIVE IS JUST AS NECESSARY AS TIME TO BE SOCIAL.
I am aware that we as humans are social beings, but we also have deep emotional needs and self-realizations that must be processed at one point or another. During the time preceding Covid, I distracted myself with spending time with friends instead of really processing the problems I was facing in my life. When I was not allowed to see my friends for a period of time, I immediately had to deal with all of the saddening events taking place in the world around me, and really found a voice in activism for the environment. This time of reflection is essential to us, as once we face the past, we are able to accept the future.