I was not enrolled in classes at Farmingdale when the pandemic broke out. I was taking a break from school to focus on my mental health because at that time having a full course load was not possible for me. I did not know what to think when schools were being closed and lockdown started. I was of the opinion, like so many others, that things would go back to normal in a couple of weeks or a month at most.
Lockdown came at time for me where I was already limiting my social interactions because I was feeling very depressed. It was difficult for me to process the extent of devastation and isolation Covid was casting over everyone because I was so locked in my own headspace. As the pandemic established itself as a threat that was not going away for the near future, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under me and I was caught in a weird limbo state. Like I was trapped in amber, viewing the days going by without a real sense of agency in how they played out.
I started to feel increasingly more down and despondent. It seemed that even if I was able to pull myself out of this depression, what was waiting was not particularly better. I would have to learn to function in a new world, when I was ready to reenter. Even while feeling more myself, it would be harder to acclimate to this world grappling with a pandemic and the disruption of how life used to be.
I started to feel better in October of 2020 and began to do things to keep busy and feel productive. I got a job at Target and started working in the food market section. Then in the spring of that year, I decided to go back to school and signed up for four remote classes at Farmingdale. The more I took on, the more I felt proud of myself and that I was evolving in my ability to take on more responsibilities.
All the adversity I faced prior to Covid and during the bulk of it, built me up to be a solid force that could not only face hardship, but take it in stride. I enjoyed remote learning and got better at portioning out my workload every day. By the end of that Spring semester though, I felt ready to be on campus in-person and interact with other students and even make some friends.
The pandemic revealed to me that hardship, while unbearable at the time, can serve to strengthen you and bring you closer to who you are and are meant to be. I believe there are unseen benefits to many difficult experiences and Covid, after some time, proved to be no different.
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