What a Pandemic Taught Me - a 2020 Graduate

Yesterday I received my cap, gown, honors tassels, and sash in the mail. I hung it up, steamed it, and affixed all the tassels and sash; then I cried. The excitement that I had built up over the 14 years of schooling that I would be a college graduate disintegrated as I saw my graduation attire hanging proudly.   

After the hours of work, staying up late studying, creating PowerPoints, and writing essays, the day of zipping up my graduation gown and walking down the stage shaking my professor's hands won't happen.  It seems unfair, and it truly is.

As I take all this into perspective, this is a defining moment in our history that will be talked about forever. The COVID-19 Pandemic will be in history books. The class of 2020 will forever be known as the class that faced distinctive challenges right as we entered the real world. But right now, in this very moment, it’s a tough pill to swallow.  

While the sense of loss is present, I also have a profound sense of passion in changing how I view my relationships moving forward. Here’s what a virus taught me.

The importance of loving those who seem obvious. By that, I mean:

  • Tell your parents you love them

  • Appreciate time with your grandparents

  • Be present when you get time with your family; shut off your phone for an hour

Praise is NOT enough, saying “thank you” is NOT enough for hospital staff, cops, and essential workers whose jobs became 100x harder with the pandemic. For those who put their own lives on the line to protect ours.

Although those just ‘chalk up’ a few of the lessons the last 3 months has thrown at me, my attitude on family, prioritizing relationships, and appreciating those who put their life on the line daily have forever changed because of COVID-19.  

What positive changes have happened in your life over this time?

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