The light at the end of the tunnel

Anurika Onyenso - January 4th - 3 min read

Hello Brilliant Minds,

While we can all acknowledge that 2020 has been the worst plot twist of all time and that no dystopian movie could have prepared us for, I’ve decided to examine the positive lessons I have learned from the experience to date.

1. I’ve Realised I Love my own company

Initially, while the lockdown obviously bummed out most people, I quickly realized it was like a breath of fresh air for me to have an honest excuse to be away from people. Nowadays, my craving for more in-person social interaction has increased, but the general experience has taught me that it’s okay to be alone sometimes and in your own headspace, genuinely just enjoying your own company and focusing on your mental health.

2. New Ways to Cope with Boredom

Though the lockdown has been limiting, it has also been a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot of new skills. For example, I was able to sharpen my cooking skills through the Spring/Summer through Youtube videos. Despite being physically distanced from friends and family, I felt like I talked to them more than ever through social media calls and texts. It shed light on just how important maintaining my closest relationships and bonds were. Finally, the popularity of sites such as TikTok has drastically increased to the point where I can’t remember a time it didn’t exist. Through that, I was able to learn new dances and fun skills.

3. Remote Learning Success is Possible

While I miss in-person classes so much, I’ve been able to surprisingly enjoy remote learning and the benefit of learning at your own time and pace. Through Zoom meetings and classes, I’ve been able to thrive in most of my classes. However, I also acknowledge that there are various distractions I’ve had to avoid that tend to come with the remote learning system. Nevertheless, the experience as a whole has made me more aware of my responsibility towards my success in terms of my education.

4. Better Personal Hygiene

While the pandemic has come with its fair share of negative connotations, it has enabled us, as a society, to be more conscious of our health and personal hygiene. Imagine how many common colds would not have been transmitted if we were all wearing face masks then? I’ve been able to make a wise investment towards the purchase of several bottles of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and face masks, which I otherwise would not have. While that may have been seen as odd in the past, the truth is that there is nothing like being too health-conscious, and I will definitely be just as conscious of my health and personal hygiene in the future.

5. Flexibility

Two critical lessons I’ve gotten from our unfortunate global situation are that change is constant and Life is unpredictable. While both may seem obvious, it’s not always something you plan for. We all have our daily routines, and I personally love to live by schedules- in school, day-to-day, work, among numerous others- but the pandemic has taught me the valuable lesson of making flexible schedules.

6. Money-Saving

Despite the constant online boredom-shopping and numerous deals by online retailers, I’ve been able to save a lot more money since I wasn’t going out much. Also, due to the situation, I’ve become a loyal fan of bulk-buying, and that’s something I’ll definitely inculcate into my future buying habits.

7. More Family Time

While the lockdown left many confined to their homes, appreciating the unexpected extra family time, as an International student, I couldn’t go back home since the borders were closed and flights were scarce. So instead, I rented a house with five of my friends and created bonds with them that’ll probably last a lifetime!

8. Valuing comfort

While on the downside, the lockdown made showers optional for me, it also made me value my own comfort above anything else. My daily outfit now consists of sweats or a simple tee and shorts because I’ve learned the value of being comfortable in my own skin. Also, I’ve been able to invest less in cosmetics because there’s barely any point in wearing makeup under your face mask when no one can see you.

Also, despite gyms closing, I was still able to keep fit through online exercise videos and subscriptions and daily online yoga classes. Despite our global situation being unideal and confusing, remember to be patient with yourself and others. You may have lost or gained relationships during this pandemic but remember to keep positive and most importantly, prioritize your mental health!