By Becca Masch
2020 has been like a 24/7 version of a nightmare where you go to school and realize you’re not wearing pants, find out you have a test that’s worth 100% of your grade for which you haven’t studied, and that, for some reason, you have to take that test orally in front of everyone (you know, just to add a nice sprinkling of public speaking). In other words, 2020 has been rough for all of us. However, it is in the worst times when we have to have the brightest outlook. In the spirit of that, here are a couple positives that I’ve dug down deep to find during this period of social distancing (besides the obvious and important benefit of keeping everyone safe):
- Starting a new hobby: For many people, the sheer boredom of being stuck at home meant trying to find anything interesting to do. You might’ve finally rummaged through those beads you’ve been collecting to make some beautiful new jewelry or gone on hours-long YouTube binges to find the perfect recipe to try. Personally, I started creating little painted gifts for my friends to cheer them up during the monotony of quarantine. If you haven’t tried anything new, consider checking off some childhood dreams. Whether it be learning to knit, playing a new instrument, or even writing poetry, there’s something out there to keep everyone entertained.
- Finishing that book you’ve been meaning to read for months now: Most of us have experienced being so excited to pick up a book, reading only for a bit, and then forgetting about it when you get sucked into work. Being stuck at home for so long may have been dull, but hopefully you realized that there are little entrances to adventures in every book you open. And if your time was taken up by other things, look at your nightstand with that lonely book and give it another shot.
- Everyone now knows how long to wash their hands: It’s hard to believe that this wasn’t true before the pandemic, but apparently people have struggled with the logistics of a simple handwashing routine. It’s safe to say that at least the majority of people have it down at this point. It’s a little disappointing that it took a deadly pandemic to get everyone to that place, but, on a positive note, at least we’re experts now. Snaps for that twenty seconds long, paying attention to the fingertips and thumbs, and getting between the fingers handwashing technique.
- Masks = new accessory to rock: In the beginning of social distancing, we were seeing a majority of surgical masks—classic but boring. Now that we’re a couple months deep into social distancing and mask-wearing, we’ve seen designs of all kinds. We’ve seen reborn t-shirts, scarves, and bandanas, not to mention the countless designs on each mask where you can express a little bit more about yourself. I’m sure we all miss nonverbal communication and non-muffled speech, but (because we’re positive people here) let’s look at this as just a new way to lend yourself a voice.
- No more commuting: I’d like to combine this positive with the rise in remote work. The job market isn’t exactly booming at the moment, but it really helps that suddenly work which would only be accessible to those living three states away is now an option for everyone. Not only that, but those who’d been driving, biking, or busing to work every day now get to sleep in for that extra bit of time. Have a Zoom call but want to stay comfortable? Fine—wear pajama pants instead of those tight trousers you’ve always hated (we’ve all done it, no shame). You may miss your work buddies or the work environment, but let’s face it, no one misses rush hour traffic.
- Relationship growth: Not to get too sappy, but if you’ve made it this far without killing your roommate, whether they’re a significant other or not, you know you have a pretty solid relationship. Quarantine was the time that you figured out who the most important people in your life were and who wasn’t as necessary. It’s unfortunate, but there were probably some people who seemingly dropped off the face of the planet once you could no longer meet them in person, and, well, you had your answer right there. There is nothing more positive than cutting the toxic people out of your life. So, here’s to nurturing those lasting, strong relationships through the endless trials of 2020.
Edited by Kristina Drendel