The Upside

By Jane Parry

All day long we are confronted with negative news regarding COVID. Of course, this news  coverage is quite necessary as so many lives and loved ones have been lost. Still, it sometimes  seems like we are in an endless downpour of negativity. When’s the last time you have read the news and found something positive? It’s few and far between. While COVID is by no means  overwhelmingly positive, sometimes it is necessary to find rays of sun scattered throughout the  storm. It’s time to look at the upsides. 

We are learning what it means to be resilient and how to face new challenges. Throughout the pandemic, many challenges have arisen. From the second we Ohio State students  received the news that we would not be returning to campus last spring, our worlds have been  turned upside down. Still, we keep on doing what is necessary. From strange new rules such as  wearing a mask or limitations on visitors in residence halls, we have learned to adapt and make  the best of our situations. We will carry this mentality with us for the rest of our lives. 

We are quite literally witnessessing history. 

We will always remember what it was like living in the middle of a pandemic. One day, younger  generations will want to know what it was like living with COVID-19. Hopefully, we will be  able to remember the good things along with the bad. From learning Tik Tok dances to sitting  outside with loved ones six-feet apart, we will have many stories to share.

We are strengthening our telecommunication skills.  

No class could teach us telecommunication skills as strongly as this pandemic has. We are  practically living in a telecommunication wonderland. We now know what it is like to attend  online meetings, online classes, give online speeches, and more. You name it and COVID has  probably made us do it! These real world experiences offer us first hand knowledge on what it is  like to communicate effectively via technology and technology only. Can we add COVID  telecommunication certified to our resumes?  

We are picking up new hobbies.  

During quarantine, many of us have adopted new hobbies and tried new things. Personally, I  began reading for pleasure again, something I have been wanting to do but never had the time  for. I bought a pair of rollerblades and attempted—and failed—to learn how to rollerblade! I also  started my own sticker shop on Redbubble. All around the world people are finding creative  ways to keep their life fun even amongst a pandemic. What’s something you might have never  tried without quarantine?  

We are discovering our support systems. 

Quality over quantity is one phrase that certainly reigns true these days. For safety and health  purposes, we have been forced to condense our social circles. While we may be limited to seeing  a small amount of people, these connections are deeper than ever before. Personally, I feel more  connected to my friends and family than ever!  

We are all in this together.

In a time of a tense political division, there is one thing we all have in common; we have been  forced to live in an unprecedented time that many of us are struggling with. That being said, we  should be conscious about our choices and how they may affect others’ health. We truly are all in  this together. Harsh times tend to bond communities. I can only hope the result will be the same  in this case. 

It’s easy to let yourself get wrapped up in the negativity of the pandemic. Sometimes we need a  little reminder that it’s not all gray skies. Allow this moment in time to be a learning experience:  a time to try new things, strengthen relationships, and build character. You got this! We got this!  Just because the world is upside down doesn’t mean the upside isn’t still there. 

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