“These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote Thomas Paine in 1776. It appeared in a pamphlet series entitled The Crisis, which offered consoling and patriotic sentiments during the turmoil of the American Revolution. The Covid-19 pandemic has come upon us quickly and given us great pause as to what the future will look like. It has made us evaluate what is important while reminding us to do things we enjoy with the people we love. History provides us with a substantial example for how to proceed in the present, and therefore, this is where my quarantine story begins.
Personally, this situation has escalated like the arrival of an unpredicted thunderstorm over a calm sea. I went home for spring break, saw a Broadway show (Dear Evan Hansen) for my birthday and took advantage of my time at home, all the while expecting to soon return to campus. The news was coming out with new information every day-or more like every hour-and the date to head back to Gordon kept being pushed back. These were, and still are, uncertain times indeed. There has not been one particular challenge I have had to overcome, rather, tough moments have come in waves. A sheet of towering water begins to mount itself in front of me, but with prayer, quiet, and taking time to organize my thoughts, it gradually subsides. Thankfully, my experience with online classes during my four years of high school has helped with my transition, but I feel as though I am busier than ever.
Because of the academic busyness, and also the magnitude of varying stressors, I am purposefully trying to implement a schedule for when I get up and when I am finished with tasks for the day. This has helped me remain productive and look forward to when 5:30 p.m. rolls around and I can indulge in something fun and relaxing. I have been baking, exercising, journaling, creating inspiring music playlists, and diving into the depths of Skillshare to stretch my mind in different ways. When working, I have found it helpful to make the space clean and comfy where I spend the most time, while also switching up where I do certain things in order to quell the monotony.
While self-isolation has altered my expectations for the spring semester, there have been a great many blessings to have resulted from it, which I hope is the same for you. When will we have again this concentrated time with nowhere to go and overflowing opportunities to rest? Let’s be intentional to grow closer with our families, closer with God and closer to what gives us excitement to be alive. I leave you with this refreshing and foundation-giving Bible verse: “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him” (Psalm 91:1-2 NLT).