Cherish the simple things: Everyday moments quarantine has reminded us to appreciate

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As the busy Bears of UC Berkeley, we students are constantly on the go. There are classes to get to, clubs to tend to, friends to hang out with and midterms to prepare for. Because we become so caught up in the whirlwind that is college life, there are many things we often take for granted. This past month of sheltering in place, however, has allowed some of us to slow down our lives and reflect upon it. Here are some easily overlooked aspects of life that our time in quarantine has reminded us to appreciate.

Home-cooked meals

After a period of time away from home, there’s nothing more comforting than sitting down to a home-cooked meal. Somehow, the slowed pace of life and a table full of your favorite dishes just hits differently during this time. Regardless, our current predicament reminds many of us how lucky we are to be able to enjoy our parents’ amazing cooking, worry-free.  

Quality time with family

For those of us lucky enough to be with our loved ones, this pandemic has reminded us that life is unexpected with curveballs aplenty. And during these difficult times, not everyone is able to be home with their families. Only being able to interact with a handful of people might feel repetitive, but hey! You’re all safe and together, and that’s what truly matters.

Nature

Social distancing practices have encouraged us to reconnect with the great outdoors, whether that means spending more time in your backyard or talking walks six feet apart. Now that quarantine orders are in place, more and more of us are seeking time outdoors. Take advantage of the opportunity to observe and appreciate the diversity of life with your undivided attention — you just might realize how much of Earth’s beauty goes by unnoticed when we’re preoccupied with our busy lives.

Do-nothing downtime

Sometimes we just need a break to completely relax, and that’s OK! Everyone is struggling with different troubles and adjusting to this new way of life. With so much change and uncertainty in the world, remember that having the time to simply be and do nothing can be a luxury.

Technology

If we were extremely attached to our devices before, we’re completely dependent on them now. Technology is our means of connection to everyone outside of our quarantine mates, as well as how we’re able to continue receiving an education. Laptops and smartphones allow us to see the beautiful faces of friends and family far away, providing us with some sanity when we’re feeling disconnected. Three cheers for our devices, big or small, and the solutions they offer us.

Being a student

This is something that’s especially easy to take for granted, especially when we’re swamped with work and drowning in midterms. Classes and exams can feel like our greatest sources of stress when we’re at school, but funnily enough, quarantine has made many of us miss the hustle of campus life. As ironic as this situation may be, it reminds us of how fortunate we are to be students and learn.

Your professors, GSIs and instructors

Transitioning classes online has not only been difficult for us students, but for our instructors as well. Our professors, GSIs and instructors have worked tirelessly to restructure our classes, weathering technological difficulties to provide us with the best instruction they can. From managing their own lives, to maintaining a somewhat normal classroom setting, here’s a special shoutout to our instructors who do it all. 

Walks to class

Who ever thought we’d miss hiking up and down all over UC Berkeley’s campus? The daily treks to and from each class served as a physical transition, a small break and a breath of fresh air between lectures. With that came the swarms of people bustling around campus, the Campanile ringing in the background and the vast greenness of Memorial Glade — unique aspects of the school we love. Although these are things we see on a regular school day, being holed up at home reminds us that these are the little things on campus that make every moment at UC Berkeley so incredible.

While our current situation is not ideal, there are many things that this way of life has reminded us to appreciate. From our campus to our professors, family time to downtime, there are many aspects of our everyday lives that deserve a little recognition. Hopefully, when we emerge from this quarantine, we will remember to notice the people we take for granted and cherish the simple moments that make our lives as vibrant as they are.

Contact Kristie Lin at [email protected].