Over these past few months, our worlds have been filled with negativity. Schools closing, activities cancelled, friends and relatives getting sick, and a drawn-out presidential election. Given what today’s circumstances have brought to each of our lives, we tend to focus more on the negative impacts of the pandemic versus the positive ones. However, it’s important to look at the positives too, in order to understand the full picture, which is the focus of my article.
One opportunity that many of us have had is at our jobs. The school schedules have allowed us to take more shifts, which lets us save up more money for college, fun, and our future. Since the beginning of the school year, I have been able to work twice as many hours at my manufacturing job than I was last year pre-COVID. Despite my increased workload, demand is higher for our products than it was pre-pandemic, I’ve had the ability to learn more and take advantage of opportunities that I would not have had if I had the usual school schedule.
An additional advantage is the asynchronous Wednesdays. I like to do schoolwork early in the mornings or in the evenings so I do not have to do anything on those days. Sometimes I will work at my job later on the other days so I have Wednesday completely free.
I like to use Wednesdays as a mental break so I can decompress and get a clear headspace. Usually that involves a day that is mostly out of the house and I’m not working. For example, on a recent Wednesday, I made a trip to Wyalusing State Park and spent the day walking about 12 miles. On the way home, I ordered pizza from my favorite place, Marcine’s in rural Mount Horeb, to treat myself for all the exercise I did and completing my schoolwork ahead of time.
Other times, I have worked on my various service projects of photographing cemeteries and removing log jams from Six Mile Creek. Some use the day for their job or to learn new skills. For many students, their motivation levels are declining. Think about how you can utilize Wednesdays as a resource: to recharge your batteries, work hard and still treat yourself, and bring back and retain some of that motivation.
A key skill needed to do so is time management. It’s a skill that many weren’t the best at before March, but some were able to improve upon during virtual school. My view is that strong time management skills are some of the best qualities you can have and serve as an asset to maximize your potential. Work and skill productivity can increase while allowing more time for leisure activities.
If my time management skills were poor, I probably wouldn’t be doing as well in virtual school as I am, nor have free time on Wednesdays to use as a mental break. It’s a necessity in college and the workplace, and many students have been fortunate in that the pandemic put those skills to the test and provided opportunities to refine time management adroitness. COVID-19 tested other abilities, such as organization, flexibility, resourcefulness, confidence, as well as many other important life skills.
Thus, despite all of the challenges and disappointments the pandemic has thrown at each of us, we still have a lot to be thankful for and appreciative of. We still have our friends and family and a hope for normalcy to come soon. For those that are struggling to find motivation remember that winter break is in two weeks.