By Brianneth Rocha
Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula
[3 minute read]
It seems like just yesterday, the world stopped in response to the pandemic. For the first few months of social distancing, I lost track of the days. Before I had time to perceive it, weeks had gone by. All plans were thrown out the window, and the year that marked the third decade of my life has been nothing like I originally expected. I could have spent all of my time dwelling on the lost moments and experiences, but instead I chose to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, after giving myself time to reflect and acknowledge that my home would most likely be the center of my whole life for the rest of the year, I worked to find my motivation and passion.
At the beginning of the pandemic, things weren’t so bad, as I had school to occupy myself with. Society as a whole went on an exploration through the world of Zoom. There was frustration and even hatred towards technology, and for many learning technology has been like learning a new language. However, once we all settled into the basic framework of living in an online world, technology became the bridge connecting everyone via a virtual landscape. Lately, Zoom has been a key feature in my life. From classes to weekly meals with my friends, it seems that we are all in long-distance relationships these days. We have found a way to connect without the need for physical presence.
For the days you are feeling down or tired of doing the same things every day, there are many solutions. Now is the time to explore personal interests, try new hobbies, learn new languages, or wipe the dust off the instrument you had forgotten you were so excited to learn because there had been no time. Whether you like to read, knit, sing, or so on, use this time as an amazing opportunity to do that. At first it was nice to stay home; it was the vacation everyone had desperately waited for. With the busy lifestyles many of us are used to living today, staying home for a while seemed ideal. As long as we shift our perspective, this can be a wonderful opportunity for us. So instead of seeing this time as an extended period stuck at home, rather, see the upsides: loungewear is the new work attire, you can wake up ten minutes before work, less hours of life are wasted in traffic, you can work and be home with the people you love, you no longer have to run across campus to make it to your next class, and so much more!
I am someone who greatly enjoys spending time outdoors, so staying home for so many months has been a struggle, but I have learned so much. I have become more creative in searching for ways to enjoy life, I have grown emotionally, and I have found a deeper appreciation for the people in my life. I have also surprisingly developed a more profound interest in my studies. While I truly regret the way this year has played out, I am also thankful for it. My advice: take time for yourself. Stop and reflect on your life these days and what you want to focus on in the future, and you may find this time to be more valuable than you had anticipated.
Brianneth is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. She is also pursuing a MA in Environmental Studies through the USC progressive-degree program. She was born and raised in the spectacular city of Los Angeles, so she is familiar with the city’s hidden gems. She thinks the best thing about LA is its diverse culture and of course, the amazing weather. During her free time, she enjoys taking road trips, watching movies, taking hikes, playing sports, and being creative. She is adventurous and always up to learning new skills. She enjoys embracing all the wonderful aspects of her Mexican-American culture and is fluent in the Spanish language.