Long walks to class, early morning bus rides and dreaded alarm clocks have now all been traded in for rolling out of bed last minute, clicking a link, muting the microphones and desperately hoping the professor does not ask us to turn on the camera.
This is not the sort of fall frenzy and new class excitement — or dread — we have all been accustomed to for years, but a new kind of transition into a distanced, lonelier, cyber education.
I would not be first to admit I am not a big fan of it all, although I understand it is necessary for the safety of all. It takes very little energy to look at the downsides of the world we are living in now, but it is important to remind ourselves that this could be the opportunity we have been waiting for.
Distance is lonely. My gosh, what I would do for an in-person lecture right now! But with distance, comes along some spare time that can be used to foster self growth and opportunities to better ourselves as individuals. This time is truly essential as to what we do with it — it will become entirely what we make of it.
The world is slowed down right now, allotting us time to catch up with our hobbies, passions and ourselves for just a minute. And although I wish I could visit my friends and join clubs on campus, I am sitting alone on my bed, writing to you.
Life is not normal right now, so we can do the things we would not normally do. Take time to finally start that journal you have been telling yourself you would start writing in for years, take time to pick sketching or painting back up, take time to write the song you have been setting aside because you stopped at the chorus.
This period of social distance can also be used to reconnect with old friends and catch up with people through text, calls or Facetime. Scroll through that phone and answer those unanswered texts, I know there are plenty! Even though we are limited in contact, that does not mean we have to lose connection with those we care for.
There is still room to create stronger connections, even if they are not in the ideal face to face format!
Nothing about our current world is not ideal for our social lives, mental health or safety, but it has potential to be ideal for finding out who you are when it is just you and yourself, alone in a room.
Our physical presences are not being demanded anywhere. So we are left with ourselves. For the first time, we are allowed and encouraged to keep to ourselves and spend time on ourselves. What will you do with it?