The time we lost: In hindnsight

A lot of us felt like 2020 (and some part of 2021) didn’t really happen. Streets suddenly emptied, transactions put on hold, people we used to see everyday we saw again through our screens, some we’ll never see again. In its early days, we all expected it to last a few weeks, two months tops. But then companies started making employees bring home their laptops and students started getting Zoom even on their phones. What we thought was on pause started playing by itself and we refused to watch.

So we started planning what we would do after the pandemic. I was graduating college during all this so I felt like I missed out on a lot of rights of passage before adulthood. I contemplated a lot on how I wasn’t able to spend the last few months of college on my terms so I started planning out everything I missed once everything “returned to normal”. Among Us could never replace finding out who among your friends didn’t chip in for drinks and binging travel vlogs don’t really bring you to the actual place. We even talked about holding our own graduation ceremony because Zoom just didn’t do the trick.

While these feelings are totally valid, we shouldn’t allow them to stop us from pushing through. Each class we attend is still class and each day working from home is still work; our professors still give us a grade and our pay checks still come in. People in transitionary phases in their lives (like myself) can’t allow the pandemic to stunt our personal and professional growth. We cannot allow opportunities to slip by just because we think there are better ones after all this is over. We have to treat the time of the pandemic not as lost days but as an actual time of our lives.

Although some did have valid reasons for postponing their lives. 114 million people lost their jobs over 2020 and that mental health issues were at an all time high; not to mention that your internet connection may have been really bad or your professional certification exam didn’t push through. It’s important that we also acknowledge these factors and not be too hard on ourselves. While we had a lot of time and opportunities to become productive and learn, it was also an opportunity to rest. Simply surviving on a daily basis deserves a pat on the back as just as much as graduating or getting promoted.

With the emergence of vaccines and the world learning to adapt to the whole situation, things are looking bright. Schools are reopening and workplaces learned that they can trust their employees to do their work no matter where they are. New, tailor-fit opportunities will present themselves and even though things aren’t 100% back to how they once were (they might never be), remember that we miss 100% of the chances we don’t take.