Life on Pause
I’m a freshman in college. College. Sometimes saying that still doesn’t seem real. Growing up, college was this big thing looming over our future, so far away that it seemed impossible to reach. But now…now I’m in college. Despite having said this, I don’t feel any different. I feel as though I’m in 13th grade of highschool, or still on my “extended” senior year spring break (6 months later…). So for me, I haven’t gotten to the big looming presence that is college yet; it still feels impossible to reach (thank you, COVID-19). This feeling of being in limbo — something we are all really experiencing — is quite a weird one. It feels like (at least during the height of quarantine) all life has been put on pause — nothing is moving forward. So what are we supposed to do with this time?
Some people have thrived with life on pause. They’ve gotten their life together, learned a skill they’ve been meaning to do, found a new passion, started a business, changed the world, etc. I, for one, am not one of those people. I found myself in a dull state of nothing. I was so extremely bored, but also had no motivation to do anything of substance. My days seemed to be exactly the same every day: walk the dog, watch Netflix, eat, walk again, sleep, repeat. I know, riveting. And though it makes me feel better that I was certainly not the only one living this same routine and having the same feelings of purposelessness and boredom, I still kick myself for the fact that I just let 6 months of nothing go by.
I don’t like this negativity that I seem to be trending towards in this post. And you know what, I truly do believe that “nothing” can still have meaning. So, let’s quickly break down this riveting schedule that I had and create meaning within it.
- Walking the Dog. In these past few months, I’ve never walked so much in my life. And that is not at all a bad thing. Starting my day by walking my dog (who, by the way, is a goldendoodle named Kenzie and the cutest dog on this earth (sorry, I’m biased)) woke me up, got my muscles moving, created even more family bonding time (as if there wasn’t enough already :) and made me feel as though I’d already done something productive.
- Netflix. Oh how I love Netflix. Of course I watched my fair share of Reality TV (which probably made me lose brain cells) and teen dramas, but I also started watching a lot of documentaries a movies “based on true events”. I learned things about crime, politics, zoo’s, sports, and our environment that I wouldn’t have learned about otherwise.
- Eat. Asides from the inherent happiness that comes from eating, eating ~in quarantine~ allowed me to learn how to cook more. Saying “I can cook” is a pretty big exaggeration, but I’ve now mastered the basics of any pasta dish, any egg dish, and anything involving a tortilla. Self-sustainability for the win.
- Sleep. Sleep is so important! I was finally able to catch up on all the sleep I had greatly missed out on from being so incredibly busy my senior year with college applications, extracurriculars, and a hard course load. There is never anything wrong with sleeping.
- Repeat. Well, routine and sticking to a schedule is a healthy life habit, isn’t it?
The next time you think you’ve done nothing, or something has no meaning, think again. There’s always an opportunity to look back on things in a different light, to reshape your perspective. We are living in unprecedented times. With life seemingly on pause, everyone is naturally going to deal with it in their own way. If you did something big and lifechanging and exciting, that’s great. And if you did something not as big or as lifechanging or exciting, that is also great.