Edit desk: Practicing gratitude

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If someone told me a year ago today that I would be living in a house with 29 girls that I call genuine friends, I would have laughed right in their face.

As a class of 2020 high school student, the ability to stay positive in the midst of the pandemic proved to be the ultimate challenge. I felt guilty for complaining about the things I missed out on, since in the scheme of society, my problems seemed small.

When it came time to leave for college, I found out that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was not allowed to live with a roommate. The need for all-single dorms forced the university to open up some unconventional locations for housing—my dorm was all the way on top of the hill, the farthest from campus.

I had never felt so isolated as I did during this time. COVID-19 restrictions were the enemy of my social life and even my self-confidence. As a person who was a social butterfly throughout high school, existing in a time where meeting new people was encouraged yet not exactly permitted was extremely confusing.

When the dining halls were moved to takeout only, I would walk nearly a mile to get my dinner just to bring it back to my room. Other than that, my days would consist of opening and closing my laptop for Zoom classes.

Although I can joke now about how I ate meals alone in my dorm while I Facetimed with my older sister, I think it’s important to acknowledge this weird time in my life.

I called  my mom weekly with complaints and to seek advice. Simply put, there was no advice to give. As annoying as the phrase “it is what it is,” that is the only way I could describe the situation. Everything was out of my control.

It took a long time to realize it, but living in this dorm changed my entire perspective on life when things don’t go our way.

Without living alone all semester in a far-away dorm, I would not appreciate living with a roommate this year. My family laughed at me for choosing to have a roommate rather than my own room.

Running into my friends in the bathroom and asking how their day is or what they are going to wear to dinner is such a privilege to have.

There is never a time now that I eat a meal alone. Sometimes I even wake up early before anyone is awake to go to the library to get my work done. I know that if I stay in my house, I will be too tempted to socialize with everyone, and I will get nothing done.

Being uncomfortable is such a tricky thing. There is nothing worse than feeling out of place or alone, but, in the end, I also think that it worked in my favor. We have to be uncomfortable to grow and get to the places that we need to be.

Without going through this housing and COVID-19 nightmare, it would be nearly impossible for me to recognize all of the great people and opportunities that my college experience has given me so far.

I don’t take anything for granted now. Every social interaction that I have, I truly value. I learned so much from going through a tough time and not trying to justify it, but just getting through it.

Sometimes things happen that are both awful and unavoidable. Though keeping a positive attitude can  make a difference instead of dwelling on the negative, sometimes acceptance can trump the process overall.

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1 Comment

  1. Robert F. Davenport Jr on

    Good luck for this year. The commute last year from “home” to anywhere probably put you in the best physical condition of your life.

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