We’ve been told our
entire life that graduating from college is one of the greatest experiences we’ll have.
The crowd cheering for us, our parents crying and us raising our hands in triumph as we walk across that stage.
Walking across the stage was something that I was looking forward to from the time I started at the University of Arizona. I was going to celebrate my graduation with thousands. Dear Class of 2020, that’s not going to happen now.
The coronavirus has taken a lot from everyone — work, money, time with friends and even life. However, I don’t want to focus on the sad. Not being able to walk at graduation is something I’m willing to lose if it means the safety of others.
Not going out for drinks with friends is something I can sacrifice if it means that grandparents have more time with their family down the road. Everyone is focusing on the craziness of this virus and what it has taken from us. Why? Not only are we in a quarantined environment, but we’re making ourselves sad at the same time. What’s the point of doing that?
Through this, I’ve grown closer with friends through this shared experience. Being able to stay up late talking over video is something that I look forward to now.
Receiving texts from my father, even if it’s just about the latest movies on Netflix, is something I find calming. Helping my mother unload boxes of clothes from her storage area is something I never thought I’d enjoy, but I do.
We don’t have to change the way we enjoy friends, all we have to do is change the way we do it. We’re not in emotional isolation, but some are. Reach out to your older friends, your grandparents or your parents if you live away from them.
As for the Class of 2020, if you have older professors you can reach out to them. The transition to online learning is difficult for them as well. Don’t take out your frustrations on them, but encourage them through these hardships. This time is inconvenient for some, terrifying for others. Just because you aren’t sick doesn’t mean you can disrespect the concerns of others.
The point that I’m trying to make is this: Just because our lives have changed doesn’t mean that our lives are over.
What’s important now is accepting that this, for the time being, is our life. We have to do everything we can to try and fix the problem. But for now, cherish the new moments that you’re finding during times of crisis.
Focus on the good, forget the bad — and please wash your hands.
Adrian Ford is a student at the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
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