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Taking Back My Time    

Taking Back My Time

Artwork by FISK

BY ALEXA NEIGER

Covid-19 and college. 

Wow... where to begin. 

I am a current student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo about to begin my senior year in a few short weeks. As I prepare for my final year in what has been such a transformative chapter in my life, I find myself reflecting on the drastic difference between the senior year I have always imagined and my new virtual learning reality.

As opposed to dwelling on what should’ve been, I’m making a conscious effort to focus on how my new virtual learning experience has impacted my life in a positive way. Finding light in all of the world’s darkness. The #1 thing my online classes in Covid-19 have gifted me with is time. Without my daily commute to school and learning from my bedroom, I am finding myself with more free time as a student than ever before. Time I never anticipated having to slow down, reflect, grow, and do things other than academia that bring me joy.

With my new more balanced schedule I’ve realized how my overall quality of life and emotional well-being have skyrocketed. I now know that having or making time in my daily schedule to slow down and do things that bring me joy are an essential part of my happiness. To be honest, if it weren’t for Covid-19 forcing me to slow down, I am not certain I would’ve come to this realization on my own. For the first time in college I feel like much more than just a student. I am a beach goer, a walker, a new recipe attempter, a new recipe failer, an artist, a reader, a sewer, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and of course (as on brand with Covid-19) a banana bread baker. 

Covid-19 overall has made me seriously question how I spend my time for the better. There is often an extreme amount of societal pressure to go-go-go and a mindset that the busier you are the more accomplished you are. I think it is necessary to challenge this norm and realize that busier isn’t always better. For me, the more I slow down and choose things that bring me joy the better I feel both mentally and physically. Of course, this looks different for everyone. If you too have more time on your hands with a new virtual learning (and or work) setting, I encourage you to fill that time with things that you genuinely enjoy. This may seem simple and self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people I know that do things they don’t want to do because they feel societal pressure about what they “should” be doing. 

Sure... a virtual senior year is not my ideal situation; however, I have to recognize that so many people in the world are hurting right now and to be able to continue my education virtually, despite the state of the world, is a blessing. Not only have I been able to continue my education, I have learned so much about myself and the importance of making time for the things that make me authentically happy for my mental and physical well-being.