By Kalli Colacino
Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting has become the story of my life. And I’m over it. This semester has been challenging in ways I never thought were possible. Like most students, it’s not how I pictured my college experience. But it is what it is, and it’s important to make the best of it — even if that seems impossible.
It’s hard to stay positive when there’s not much to be positive about. I struggle to see the benefits of an online semester, especially when I’m in Zoom meetings for over six hours in one day. It seems infeasible to look on the bright side.
But after two months, I’m starting to make the best out of the less-than-optimal situation that is an online semester.
Although most of us wish we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic and didn’t have to see our professors and friends through a screen, it is what it is. And holding a grudge against the situation — something I’ve been doing — is not helping.
It’s not easy, but I’ve found multiple ways to make the best out of this situation. Now that I don’t have to commute to school, I have more time for myself. I’m trying to do the things that I didn’t have time to do before. It’s important to step away from the screen and take the time to do something you love to do — or begin something you’ve always wanted to start.
One thing I’ve had time to do is read. Over the summer, I was able to read, on average, a book a week. But usually when the fall semester starts and I’m back on campus, I’m too occupied with school to focus on reading. This semester has been quite different, as I’ve gotten the chance to continue my hobby. My favorite book right now? James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series.
When the weather permits, I take my dog to the park for hours. Hiking and spending time with my dog is something I always loved to do, but I didn’t have as much time for it when we were on campus. My friend and her two dogs join my dog and I on our hikes, and it’s something I’ve learned to appreciate a lot more. Spending time with my friend and her dogs and doing something I love makes my day.
I’ve found that one of my favorite things to do is to find and explore new parks. In the past month, I must have gone to half a dozen new parks across New Jersey. I’m grateful that I have this newfound time to do something I wouldn’t be able to do if we were in a normal semester.
Another thing I never had time for before is cooking. Much to my mother’s dismay, (she loves when I make a mess in the kitchen) it’s something that we can both participate in, and it’s fun to try new foods.
So although there are a lot of reasons not to be positive, it’s important to remember that there are even more reasons to be optimistic. Make the best out of every situation and try to find a new hobby. Who knows? Maybe you just might find something you love.