It’s been 2 years since I flew to Tennessee and landed to the news “the coronavirus has been declared a pandemic.” I was staying with a then-friend at her family’s home and we both felt fearful. We were hearing the other North Carolina schools – NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke alike – cancelling classes for the upcoming weeks. Then, a few days later, Meredith College followed suit. A few days later, my Dad and Step Mother drove to North Carolina to pick me up and we drove home to essentially quarantine. I, then, quarantined with my Mom and Step Father. We didn’t know for how long and neither did anyone else. No one knew what was going on or what was to happen. It was scary and it was uncertain.
The first few thoughts going through my head when COVID-19 first hit was what about the remainder of my college experience? What about my friends’ college experiences? What about my classmates’ college experiences? What about others’ college experiences? The same idea for anyone in school. None of us knew what was to come, except for the fact that we would probably be at home for quite a while, with our academic experiences missed due to COVID-19. Experiences that we would never get due to the pandemic. While frustrating and sad, it was the reality and right when COVID-19 hit and social distancing for days ensued, so did that fear of loss and then the loss. Needless to say, there was a lot of grief going on inside of me. It sucked. BUT, it sucked for everyone else too not just me.
Looking back on the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent so much time obsessing over the what-if’s. I think we all did. No one knew what was coming. I vividly remember feeling like I wanted to know when: when would this end? When would I be able to leave my house without any worry or feelings of backlash for taking a mask off for a picture? Just when? Well, we didn’t know and no one else did either. I really wish that I enjoyed the moment more with my family, despite the circumstances.
Flash forward to the coming months/years and I went back to my college apartment. I lived out my Senior year of college and got to graduate in-person on my college campus in the most bittersweet way possible. Although not the highly anticipated Senior year of college that I had had in mind, it was surprisingly not horrible either. I actually enjoyed my Senior year of college, even *yes, even* with COVID-19. I also became employed and moved back to the Washington, DC area – a dream of mine since I started college. I have a dog named Rosie and I live with my Papa. My blogging platform has grown in ways that I had never ever ever expected. Truly, my life is insane but in the best way possible!
2 years since March 2020, I see someone that has worked on herself like never before in ways that I can only thank due to ironically the COVID-19 pandemic (read more on that here!). I developed my blogging platform here at The Pink Chickadee. I networked with so many folks and continue to network with others, whether it be family, friends, fellow influencers, or professionally. While COVID-19 is a tragic pandemic and event, it did not crush me in the long run – rather, it made me stronger. Indeed, I *even* have a greater insight into what my goals moving forward will look like. All thanks to a turn of events which made us ALL stronger.
As life feels as if it’s opening up in a post-pandemic manner, I am only excited for what is to come. I want to put myself out there in ways like never before – both professionally and personally. I want to explore my own city aka the Washington, DC area and make new connections while maintaining the one’s that I already have. I want to count my blessings one piece of confetti at a time. And, I want to invest in ME.
Right before writing this, a smile popped onto my face as I saw that some of my Meredith College classmates who were Freshmen during the 2020-2021 school year (now Sophomores) got to experience a special event that I experienced my Sophomore year just recently. Those classmates of mine are true testimonies of putting a smile on your face even in times of adversity, as they started out their college experience in the midst of the pandemic. Now, I strive to do the same. If COVID-19 taught me anything, it is that there is good even in the bad. And, the little things are the things that matter the most.
XOXO – Katie <3