By Patrick, 20, Chicago, Illinois
With the scale of events and the extent to which our lives have changed over the past couple months, I think this will go down as one of the handful events in my lifetime where I remember exactly where I was or what I was doing when things started to take a turn. A little over a month ago, I was standing up in front of a Business Communications class on a Monday morning, sweating through my suit, midway through a group presentation when people started to get the news. As the class quickly changed their attention from the front of the room to their phones or laptops, I realized that classes were being cancelled for the foreseeable future, the first step of many that has led to the current quarantine. Really more happy than anything that some of the pressure of the big presentation was off me in the moment, I had no idea the severity of what was to come.
The common theme on social media or in conversations with friends through this whole thing has been “I wish we could go back” or “I can’t wait until this is over so we can ____.” Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could be back at school, finishing up my sophomore year of college the way it was supposed to go. Even being at home, I want nothing more than to be able to meet up with friends and hang out. Never again will I take for granted watching one of my favorite sports teams play a meaningless regular season blowout game. I feel for the people around my age who are in transitional years, leaving one stage of their life and moving into the next, who will have key moments taken away from them. Throughout all of this, though, I think Generation Z will move past this with a sense of appreciation.
Being able to spend the past month at home with my family has been a blessing in disguise. For me, like so many others, it is rare we get everyone under one roof. We did the math a little bit ago, and the last time myself and all 4 of my brothers were home together for more than a weekend was almost two years ago. As we grow older, and transition into new stages, these opportunities to spend with family become less and less. When things go back to normal, I think we will all surely be more thankful for the regular aspects of our life. I won’t take for granted a regular Friday night with friends around, knowing how much I want that at the moment. More than this, though, I think I and many others will appreciate this time as a rare and unique opportunity to hit the rewind button, spending every day with those who mean the most.