While it is clear that the COVID-19 Pandemic has significantly impacted the lives of everyone in our community in various ways, there are some silver linings. In a recent survey, many students responded that they found more time through the spring and into the summer to read and to work out. Spending time with family arose as both a positive and negative for many, though some students, faculty, and staff reflected that they enjoyed the chance to take a step back from their busy lives.
Beyond the more common answers, some respondents reported extremely interesting ways their lives changed and unique hobbies they took up. One began collecting rocks and shells throughout the summer, and another had more time to explore their interest in LEGOs and architecture. Spending more time outside, whether hiking, biking, bird watching, golfing, or gardening was also a common thread.
On a more serious note, the social justice movement that was sparked by the killing of George Floyd was reflected in many student’s experiences throughout the summer. Some reported having the opportunity to read thought provoking books and articles, attend protests, and appreciate the people around them more.
As we begin to see each other more in our day to day lives, many have reported a new appreciation for historically “normal” tasks and interactions. While the future remains uncertain, what is clear is that we must appreciate every day, every person, and every moment we have together. Perhaps that is one of the true positives to emerge out of the pandemic.