As a very active, involved college student, being told to suddenly drop everything you were doing, and sit at home can be quite jarring. The last thing I ever thought I would be doing during my last few months as a student would be scrolling through online assignments trapped in my parents’ house.
I thought I was going to be finishing out my last events for the Northeastern Activities Board, an organization I have dedicated most of my time to since I was a freshman, serving my community through volunteering with Big Event, or even just going out to dinner with my friends to celebrate our accomplishments.
Instead, everything I had planned, hoped, and worked for was thrown out the window in a few short days. It was a Wednesday night at the Wesley when we all found out about the Thunder game and players, the first real Coronavirus scare in Oklahoma.
We had been watching a movie with a mission group from West Virginia, whose spring break plans had been suddenly canceled and they needed something to do. We laughed off the craziness of it all, and connected in the small concerns on how our lives as college students would change through all of this. I had no idea that would be the last time I would be with some of my favorite people on campus in a place that has meant so much to me during my time at NSU.
In terms that can only be described as the stages of grief, I’ve felt it all. I was angry. Not really at anyone in particular, but just at the whole fact of it all. I was sad that so many people are hurting in the world, not just college students, but that I had to mourn the loss of getting to properly wrap up a very instrumental part of my life. Confusion in the midst of it all in ways that everything I had planned since the beginning of the year had to disappear and I just had to sit and be okay with it all.
I’ve had a lot of time to think it all over now. I’ve realized a few things; How many times have I prayed for a break? How many times have I asked God, “Please, just let it all slow down for one day so I can rest and catch up?” Now being quarantined for the foreseeable future WAS NOT what I had in mind, but I’m beginning to see the beauty of it.
When again in my life am I going to be surrounded by family with unhindered time to spend with them? I get to work on my classes at my own pace. I’ve grown closer to faculty in my degree and through extracurricular activities by bonding over the challenges of transferring online. I’ve made it a priority to connect with people more on a regular basis than I did when I only got to see them a few minutes a week on campus.
While finding rest in this time has been beneficial to me, I know that this is such a stressful time for everyone. Many people are worried about income, health of themselves and family members, and the many other issues that come in living in a time like this. As a Type-A personality at someone that likes to take charge and “do” I have found comfort in the fact there is nothing I can plan for.
Every day is new and I have to take it as is, there is no way to slack off when you are forced to sit still. My small and probably meaningless advice to you is, enjoy life on a day to day basis as much as you can. Find joy in the stories of people coming together all over the world who are fighting to save lives, find a healthcare professional and tell them thank you. Most importantly, stay inside as much as possible, enjoy your rest, and use this unprecedented time in history while the world is standing still to better yourself, lift up others, and find peace.
We serve a God who will never forsake us or leave us alone, no matter how much it feels like it.
My favorite verse comes from The Great Commission in the book of Matthew, chapter 28 verse 20, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”