Walking into this semester of college, I had no idea what to expect. However, I can safely say I never saw COVID-19 taking over my second semester of my freshman year. COVID-19 has come to affect us all in various ways. Whether it is about a job, a plan, or even just the way of going around life, we are all facing struggles through this pandemic. For me personally I have come to face struggles involving work, my education, and taking things for granted.

Before COVID-19, I always thought maybe online classes would be the best option for future classes. That has drastically changed now. I have gotten a taste of what online classes consist of and how time consuming they are. I would have to say that online classes have taught me various things about myself. I am a procrastinator; I get easily distracted; and I must have a school environment to feel motivated to do my work faster and on time. Now that I get to reflect on my study habits and my online classes, I’ve found myself thanking COVID-19 very recently. I have gotten to figure out my ways of getting distracted and now I am determined to make sure that for my following semesters of college I know what to expect of it all and what not to do. I’ve learned I do best when I study in an area that is not my room. I find myself wanting to fidget with random items in my room for no reason. Now I know I must isolate myself from my room space and my phone as well. It will be a challenge, but by reflecting on my habits this semester, I hope to make the next ones better than the last.

Another way I’ve struggled throughout this pandemic would be through my work environment. I work at xxxxx. I used to work waitstaff and food to go. I went from waiting tables making most of my money off tips, to full time working in food to go, washing and changing my gloves every thirty minutes, and wearing a face mask in a hot kitchen trying to make it through the rush hour every night. It personally is sad to have to see my usual customers in face masks and gloves. You don’t get the same bond or connections with customers anymore and it has been really upsetting not being able to talk to one another like before. Now we are mostly worried that we are 6ft away and on opposite sides of the shield behind the registers. That was one of the main things that really got to me when having to reflect on this semester. We have taken life for granted for so many years and this can really affect a person emotionally without realizing it.

Lastly a drastic change I have seen in my day to day life is my emotions on each day that passes. I have learned that I need human interaction in my life. I had recently been unemployed for a week or two and found myself falling into a state of depression very easily, which is why I revisited my job hoping to find my manager looking for more employees. I was lucky enough that she needed two more workers to give hours. I have been working since then, taking phone calls, at the drive thru window and taking orders. My work has been my safe place since then. I find it frustrating at times but at the end of the day I am grateful to be able to say I have a job; I have human interaction every day; I get to focus on something else that is not me being depressed over the smallest things that affect me. I get to wake up every day knowing I have a job and an education to wake up to everyday. I never realized about all the things I take for granted until this pandemic hit us with a rude awakening.

COVID-19 may have been the best thing and the worse thing to ever hit us this year by far. However, I hope to find the bright side to it all and to learn from this experience in every way possible. I have not made the best choices since transitioning to online classes, but now I know the consequences -now I know my role clearer. I also get to learn to appreciate the smallest things in life, involving family, school, work, etc. I hope to walk out of this pandemic being more grateful for life itself and the small parts to it that we never really pay attention to. COVID-19 may have been a rude awakening to most people; however, I cannot thank it enough for the lessons I have come to learn and the things I’ve come to appreciate even more.

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