We’re in a time where we are asked to stay far apart, but it’s also a time where we need to be closer than ever. Virtually at least. We’ve been hearing the phrase, “This is our new normal,” a lot lately. This is our new normal, for now, and some of us have been in denial about it. Some moments I’ve been having so much fun that I appreciate it and miss it before it’s over. Other times I have been reminded of memories that I’ve taken for granted. I am sure we all have. But never did I think I would be asked to imagine or LIVE a day where even going to the gym, the park or a friend’s house for a few hours would be taken for granted. Everyday casual activities are being limited in a matter of minutes leaving us bored at home. We took something as simple as a human touch for granted.
To the seniors, I am so sorry. I am so sorry that your year with people you have known your whole life was cut short. We all feel for you. We commend you. We celebrate you. You did not get your proper goodbye, but that is not a reason to be sad. You should be proud, happy and grateful. You have certainly accomplished so so much thus far and that is worthy of a pat on the back and then some. I remember leaving high school with tears in my eyes, being so grateful that I had something so beautiful to miss. I hope you realize that while this door closes, you are opening another to embark on a new journey. You are about to become a new version of you, even if that process is currently being rushed. Embrace it! It’s all you can do.
Life is at a standstill. It’s uncertain. It’s quite terrifying. But being asked to stay home and isolate is the perfect time to get educated. The perfect time to learn that new language that you never found time for before. The perfect time to heal with music and pick up that guitar again. The perfect time to reach out to an old friend and catch up, virtually. The perfect time to binge-watch a series (for all of you Netflix lovers). I mean hey, Disney+ could not have come out at a better time. So, if you’re really feeling nostalgic, binge that Hannah Montana series again…because we know you already did back in November.
We need to be closer together now more than ever because, for once, everyone understands your struggle. So many people are filing for unemployment. So many people are transitioning to online classes. So many people are buying two packages of toilet paper because they don’t know if they will actually run out. So many people are canceling their vacations. Believe it or not, we are all rocking in the same boat. Well at least 6 feet apart we are. You are not alone. It is okay to be sad but it is also the time to realize that we cannot change what is out of our control, but what we can change is our response to it.
Social distance. Wash your hands. Look out for and check in on your elderly neighbors. I have been grocery shopping so willingly for my grandparents because I would do anything to keep them safe and healthy. This situation is about more than ourselves. I social distance for the sake of my family and the people I care about. We need to be there for each other, look out for each other and stay safe and healthy for each other. Your body will follow your mind, if you create a healthy mindset, you will create a healthy body. We cannot conquer this alone, nor should we have to.
Remember, we have overcome our worst days and some of our best days have yet to come.
Ciera L’Huillier is a freshman here at UW-Green Bay currently majoring in Communications. She would love to pursue something in writing, similar to digital journalism on a social media platform. Outside of school, Ciera works with kids at a before- and after-school program and loves to sing!