IT SUCKS AND ITS FINE TO FEEL THAT
By Juan Tangarife Usuga
The novel coronavirus had an immediate negative impact in our experiences as CCI students; for instance, we are probably going to be the only cohort that will not be enjoying the end of the year trip or have a graduation ceremony to acknowledge our hard work and sacrifices we have made during the almost ten months we have been in the United States. I know what you think: we should be enjoying the beautiful weather that Virginia is offering, we should be taking our traditional spring pictures with the cherry blossoms on the background to choose the most “Instagrammeable” one and make wonderful memories out of it; but unfortunately, that is not going to be the case at this time. We all had goals, dreams, or travels that we wanted to achieve; besides, we were thinking about our graduation, the dresses we were going to wear, and the people we were going to invite to share this joyful moment with, but that’s something we cannot control nor change.
There is not an official guideline on what you can or cannot do during this time of uncertainty; some people find inspiration by reading that book they always wanted to finish, others like to take an online course to develop and improve their knowledge, some of them are even practicing their cooking skills before returning home; whatever you do, just make sure that new activity makes you happy, and what other people think about what you are doing with your time should not be important. If you don’t want to read a book but want to do Tik Tok videos instead, that’s fine! You don’t want to read a book but rather watch that TV show you have been told to watch? Absolutely and perfectly fine! Don’t succumb to the pressure of social media and what other people think is right; for example, I have been organizing all of my summer and fall pictures, and I am reliving those wonderful memories I experienced in those times.
You should allow yourself to feel sad, disappointed, depressive, anxious, and angry; let those feelings out of your mind and internalize better thoughts. Try to reach another CCI participant, and avoid news that only creates paranoia; seriously, what is more depressing than reading numbers and data of dead people? I am not here to tell you to do a routine and give you positive quotes to make you feel better, but I am telling you that even in situations like this you can work on new goals and activities that bring you peace. YOU SHOULD WORK ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL!