The Upside: Focusing on What Matters During a Pandemic

Let’s face it: with the entire world in the dismal state it is in, motivation to look on the bright side of any situation is low; if not nonexistent. Pacific has been holding online classes for almost two months, which means 60 days of awkward Zoom meetings, obliterated sleep schedules, and physical isolation, none of which are ideal for anyone. Nevertheless, in this unprecedented era of stolen opportunities and mandated loneliness, one undeniable fact is becoming increasingly apparent: we are in this together. Everyone in the world is waiting out the same outbreak, a remarkably unifying result of COVID-19. Students, in particular, are in a unique position to take learning at their own pace, presenting the chance to focus on self-care and personal health without the distraction of normal classes, social engagements, work, and obligations.

Normally, being a full-time student has a very particular way of overwhelming one with responsibilities, sometimes to the extent of not letting one stop and consider one’s own needs. 

While those responsibilities are still present and demanding in isolation, being alone or with a small group for a prolonged period of time brings a certain amount of freedom to slow down and take stock of personal needs. Perhaps this can even open up avenues for self-discovery that would not normally present themselves in the hustle of normal life. Meditation and reflection are not practices commonly observed in modern western society due to the importance placed on productivity and performance in school or work, so now is the perfect time to delve into them. 

Find anything that sparks joy or is calming and focus on it. Take up journaling. Try a new workout. Find new music. Read for pleasure. Simply pause and listen to what your body might need. This self-improvement mindset promotes positivity and, in the long run, helps with productivity as well. By individual students focusing on self-care, the Pacific community can be all the better at looking out for others when normality returns.

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