For most students, online learning for school has been a challenge that they have to face since we are in a national pandemic. I try to take advantage of this opportunity and look at the brighter side of things. I have taken the time from quarantine to reflect on the outlets that motivate me through these times. By beginning new hobbies such as painting, writing, meditating, I have unlocked new techniques to take care of my mental health, which now is very important.
As a college student, we are a generation defined by the pandemic. Students experience during the fall semester and the coronavirus pandemic stress, anxiety, and loneliness, which is an overriding concern. Uncertainty, instability, and self-doubt have been common themes in college students’ lives during 2020 as their education and career plans shift due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those issues outweighed stressors such as struggling financially or managing academic workload with online instruction; it has negatively impacted our ability to learn. Most students have to live in destructive home environments, or they do not have access to high-speed internet to learn effectively and being cut off from college-provided resources such as dorm room, meal plan, and health care. These additional stressors leave our generations with a trend in a negative direction.
This semester’s main takeaway is the resources that most (not all) professors would give the students. The resources contained information about tutoring, academic support, and counseling services that the school provides. I have taken advantage of using those resources to better my academics and teach myself how to succeed in a remote learning environment. The main takeaway from this is to remain positive and motivated. Even though virtual learning can be a challenge, it is vital to review your personal and life goals that you want to achieve. These specific and attainable goals can give students a reason to engage with the distance learning process. We no longer feel lost on the wrong side of the screen but logging on each day with a clear objective and a sense of purpose.
Everyone has grown in different ways based on their distinctive circumstances, which is why it is essential to be kind to yourself during this time and move at a pace that keeps your self-care a top priority. I have learned to acknowledge the little things in life and look at the bright side. The bulk of our day is spent at home with our families now. The slow pace of life has given me a chance to catch my breath and have the time to pay closer attentiveness to what my family has to say. Something that was previously unappreciated, like morning walks with my mom, is now moments that are treasured. Also, I had time to reconnect with myself while self-isolating during the school semester. I had learned to appreciate and love the quiet time alone. Not socializing allows me to sit and reflect on my life, mistakes, strengths, weaknesses, and all of the right choices I have made over the years. That experience has helped me focus on my mental and physical health. During these times, I learned that discipline is crucial. Discipline is a critical skill that I learned, especially with working from home; there are so many ways to get distracted. Creating home workspaces helped me differentiate what I am supposed to be doing at any given time.
Furthermore, I had realized that my drive to succeed is not affected by obstacles. No matter what obstacle, I use my dream to create the life I want to live. I have used this time as an opening to help me grow and start planning projects I would not have done if it was not for staying in because of the quarantine. I have helped out in my community by handing out masks and hand sanitizers to those who can’t afford those products to remain safe. I have shown that I can attain much more in a day than I thought was feasible because I have made new, clear goals. We all can strive and persevere through this time. It is a matter of believing in yourself and keeping the end in mind.
During the pandemic and social injustice issues, I believe that the community has been brought closer together. Many people have used their voice as an outlet to speak on issues that they stand for. We have also supported one another during times of social distancing with motivational quotes or as a social media outlet. The country as a whole has grown together for our country to face the issues that have been going on for years. At the University of Buffalo, many students have brought ideas together and stood in marches and peaceful protests to use their voice as a generation of people that are tired of no change. This country, community, and we as people have not fallen apart because we all have given each other that support system to get through these challenging times. I have used my voice by taking the time to vote. I encouraged others to learn which candidates are on their ballot and the issues they stand for.
This experience has helped me prepare for my future by maintaining strength and positivity in any negative situation. I have grown since the beginning of 2020; I like to believe that I am a completely different person now for all the right reasons. Now, I am closer to my friends and family, I have used my voice to speak up for what I believe in, I have gotten myself away from dark thoughts from social distancing, and overall I am so much stronger now. Even though I don’t wish for these circumstances of COVID-19 and social injustice issues, I know that we as a country can get through these times now more than ever.
Since this is my last blog post, I would like to thank my professor for allowing me to express my opinions on social issues in our class. I have developed new skills that will help me fulfill my projects. I plan to use these techniques to help out my community and speak up for others that can not.