STAFF OPINION: Find your silver lining

By Carlos Fuentes | April 12, 2020 8:10pm
Carlos Fuentes, Beacon reporter.
Media Credit: Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Let’s not lie to ourselves, quarantine sucks. Having to stay at home and not seeing those same friends we saw every day at school is lonely. At first, I spent a lot of my time feeling bad for myself. But at some point, I started seeing some positives in the situation. Here are some of the positives I’ve found in this difficult transition, and hopefully you’ll start noticing these unexpected but beautiful moments as well. 

To start off, yes, school has been hard. I’ve heard many of my classmates say that they feel like they haven’t learned anything. I agree that online classes are tough, but I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks of online school. 

I’ve learned that my professors have lives outside of school. (Seriously, who knew?) I’ve learned there’s more good music out there than the 10 songs I’ve been playing on repeat all semester. And maybe best of all, I’m getting close to finding out exactly how much mac and cheese I can eat in one day. 

As someone who lived in the dorms before this, I do miss the community that we get handed to us. On the other hand, I’ve been managing just fine using a bathroom and shower I don’t share with an entire hallway of students. I have also been sleeping perfectly well in my own room without having to wake up to my roommate’s alarm every morning, not to mention laundry has become a whole lot cheaper and easier (mainly because I’ve been wearing the same sweatpants and hoodie for three days now). 

Another positive to come out of quarantine? Better food. 

As a dorm resident, I spent many of my days on campus deciding what to eat for dinner. Luckily for me, I had plenty of time while standing in the waiting lines at The Commons to decide if I was going to get pasta or a grilled chicken sandwich for the fourth time that week. 

Now that I’m home, the eating opportunities are endless. Instead of waiting for a full day of classes to be over to make my way to the Pilot House, I can now eat between every class, and best of all, during most of my lectures. Long gone are the days that I didn’t eat lunch and then regretted it because my stomach growls would announce to the whole class how hungry I was.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, instead of spending my 10-minute break walking from Dundon-Berchtold to Franz gazing longingly at the line at Mack’s Market longer than the line at Best Buy on Black Friday, now I can cook up my own meal in no time and eat it in class. It sounds like a win to me. 

I recognize that there are a lot of downsides to this situation that we’ve all been forced into, but I believe that we can all make the best out of it by finding the positives in our lives and focusing on them. 

We can find these beautiful little moments in the situations we least expect them in. We find them when our professors take time to ask us how we’re really doing because they truly care. We find them in the late-night FaceTime calls with our friends full of laughter, reminding us of all of our fun nights of the past and all of the fun times to come. We find them when we accidentally arrive five minutes late to class because we got distracted watching “Tiger King,” but it was worth it. And best of all, we can find these moments in the time that we get to spend by ourselves, learning, growing, and remembering that these beautiful moments have been here all along, we just had to find them. 

We can find these positives everywhere if we take the time to really look. I’ve found some of my own, now what are yours? 

Carlos Fuentes is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at