It was December 31th, 2019, and I couldn’t wait for the Time Square ball to be dropped. I looked forward to the joy I thought 2020 would bring. I knew it would be the best year of all time. At least that’s what we all thought. In 2020 we have seen natural disasters, Australian fires, and the loss of an American basketball player Kobe Bryant. Just when the world looked like it couldn’t bear much more, it got worse. The COVID-19 pandemic shut our world down. All we knew, all we did, how we connected with others and so much more all changed in a moment.

I was at NC State University finishing up one of my final semesters. I was worried about things like what I would make on the next test, or what I was going to do on my Friday night.  I was worried about so many things that I quickly realized did not matter. After spring break, I never went back to Raleigh. I never thanked my professor who saw potential in me. I never said goodbye to my friends who I did not spend enough time with. I never had the final moments where I got to look around and enjoy my remaining time in college. I am graduating in December and won’t get to walk on stage to accept my diploma. Graduation will be virtual. It sucks. Do not get me wrong, I am holding families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and I am in no way trying to minimize their grief.

Yet, I realized in these moments at home with my family that all the things I spent my time concerned about were not important. In one moment, all this could be gone. None of the things I was upset about, truly mattered.  

Here is my take, we all can use COVID-19 as an opportunity. Find out who you are, what you love, where you want to be in the near future. Instead of focusing on the restrictions of this different time, focus on the possibilities. Pick up a new skill, call a friend you have not spoken to in a while, and spend time with family. We need each other now more than ever. There will be a day when this will be behind us. Until then do not take any day for granted.

Stay safe. Stay positive.