Brianna Kirk Portrait

Time, Balance and Choices: One Student's Thoughts and Photos of Life During COVID-19

We ring in the new year with celebrations of the roaring '20s and "2020 vision for 2020." Who would've thought that this is where we'd be right now? The coronavirus has derailed all of our lives and affected students by creating a less than ideal educational experience.

I guess I can say that my first year on campus was a unique one. Moving home unexpectedly in the middle of the semester was weird and hard because the spring semester had just practically started. I was creating my own family on campus, experiencing life away from home. Shifting to an online learning experience at home Brianna Kirk's home workspace.has come with its own set of challenges. Instead of my 10-minute walk from Dowling to McNeely, it's a one-second step to my desk. I start by connecting to Zoom for the lecture, but now I get to take my cat, Sushi, with me to class.

The coronavirus may have derailed my personal, academic and work life, but it's offered me an interesting take on how we spend time. We live in a culture that prides its individuals with the badge of "busy." What I realized in this time of crisis is that when you are always busy, you don't get to really enjoy what you’re doing anymore. Quarantine gave us a gift of time, one thing almost everyone wishes they had more of. I have started enjoying everything a lot more because I have time to enjoy it and am not preoccupied with other to-dos. I have started attending online creative and business webinars, reading a book for fun, going for more walks with my dogs, gardening and tending to my plants, and playing video games.

A photo from Brianna Kirk's walks around her neighborhood.Now, a pandemic isn't a productivity contest; if anything, it's learning a work-life balance. I have always been one to take on too much. COVID-19 is a reminder to relax, enjoy the little things, take on less, and that how you decide to spend your time is still a choice. COVID-19 has shown me what life can be like when you're less busy – and it's been refreshing. Looking on the bright side of things is what I like to do. So, amidst the stressful, uncertain crisis we're all experiencing, I hope I can instill more of that positivity your way. Things will become normal again, so until then, let's laugh at the irony. We all wish we had time, and now karma has given it to us.