It will come as no shock that Covid-19 has dramatically changed society and our individual lives. For many people, this has been full of immense tragedy and stress. For others, it has prompted reflection on how to live. Three students from the master’s counseling program at William & Mary share their own experiences and the valuable lessons they have taken away from this generation-altering experience.
At the risk of trivializing the wake of grief surrounding us with the first-world-problem-curved lens covering my outlook, I want to convey what a refuge quarantine has been in certain respects. In that time, I learned a lot about the way I wear gender when things are “normal.” This year, I had a bad haircut, and it wasn’t the end of the world. My mask doesn’t take thirty minutes to put on in the morning anymore. I gained a few pounds, and I was still kind to myself. I put all my underwire bras in a pile in the corner of my closet and haven’t taken them back out since.
One year into the pandemic, I feel like I’ve started to master living life with a blend of laziness and healthiness (Lazealthiness?). It all started with my George Foreman Grill. That thing is amazing. I throw a couple of frozen chicken breasts on there and set the timer for 15 minutes, and let it do its thing while I browse the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit. This lifestyle is best exemplified by my nap habit. Two naps a day may seem lazy and excessive, but it gives my eyes a rest from looking at screens and keeps me from throwing adult temper tantrums during class. Without the pandemic, I would have never mastered the art of Lazealthiness.
As we enter a new year I find myself hopeful and optimistic for change and progress. Although we may not be out of the woods yet, we can finally see the clearing. 2020 was a year unlike any in my lifetime and pushed many, if not all of us, to our limits. Changing the way we live our lives to fight an invisible foe has been no easy task. But through the stress and difficult times I have found clarity and fortitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” You see we live in a microwave society, one in which having patience isn’t a necessity. But this year taught us something different. No matter how much we advance as a society, nature always has the last word. And that’s not a bad thing: it evens the playing field, it humbles us, it reminds us of what’s really important. For that I am grateful.
- Lauren Jones is a second year master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health track at William & Mary.
- Rocky Granum is currently studying Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling at William & Mary. He is a family counseling intern at William & Mary’s New Horizons Family Counseling Center.
- Conor Yeomans is a master’s student studying Clinical Mental Health and Addictions Counseling at William & Mary.
Stephen Barlow is an assistant editor with the Wren’s Nest. He is currently studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling at William & Mary.