(This is the eighth in a series of articles from students about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Were you in college or high school when the pandemic hit the country? What was the biggest impact on your life during the first few months of the pandemic?
When the pandemic reached the U.S, I was in my junior year of college. Campus shut down for spring break, and at that moment, I never thought that March 13th would be the last real day of my junior year!
The biggest thing for me during the first few months was being at home back in Columbia after living away from home for three years. It was weird being at home with my mom, trying to juggle college and dealing with a global pandemic.
What were the challenges of transitioning from seated classes to online learning?
It was very hard to stay motivated and engaged. During this time, online learning was very new to a lot of professors and students. Not only did I have to worry about a deadly virus, but I also had to try to make sure that I focused on keeping my grades up.
It was very hard being at home and trying to motivate myself to attend Zoom classes and keep up with online assignments!
What is the greatest lesson you took away from the pandemic?
I know this sounds corny, but now I know not to take any moment for granted. Now more than ever I appreciate the little things and make sure that I prioritize people and things that make me happy. I have also done a lot of self-care. I know now how important it is to take care of myself both mentally and physically.
How did you practice Self-Care-As-A-Bear?
During quarantine, I took a lot of time to reflect and think about things I genuinely enjoy doing in the comfort of my own home. While I missed my friends, I learned that I really enjoyed my own company!
One thing that I picked up on during quarantine is saying daily affirmations. For example, every morning I wake up and say, “Today will be a good day.” Or, I’ll say, “Everything is working out the way that it is supposed to.”
I do this to remind myself that even though crazy things are happening in the world, everything will be okay. I must try to have a good day!
What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?
I learned so much. I learned that despite always believing I’m an extrovert, I love being alone. I learned how to better manage my time and how to take care of myself and prioritize my own well-being.