In March of 2020, I was on a spring break trip in Europe with three of my girlfriends from college. It was two days before we were scheduled to come home when in the middle of the night I got a frantic call from my mother. "I don't want to scare you but you girls have to come right now. The borders are being shut," she said. I immediately woke up my three friends and they too arose to a whole host of messages from their family and loved ones telling them the same. We were thrown into a bit of a whirlwind and tried our best to remain calm, when in reality we were all scared out of our wits. Ultimately, we decided it would be best to just keep our seats on our original flights and hope for the best. The next day came and we tried to make the most of it but the bad news just kept on coming. We received word that our school was going to shut down for two weeks, possibly longer.
We did not know it at the time, but that was only the beginning of the major disappointments to come. All of the parties, the spring concert, hanging out on the lawn with friends, the senior trip, graduation. Everything we were looking forward to suddenly wasn't going to happen. It was supposed to be the best time of our lives and in an instant, all of those dreams were crushed and there was nothing we could do about it. The worst part of it all was that none of us got to say proper goodbyes. I still feel like I have not gotten closure on that year and I'm not sure I ever will.
Like many other seniors, both high school and college, I was depressed for quite some time over what was happening to me and to those around the world. In addition to losing out on the last part of senior year, the job I had lined up for post-graduation fell through because of the pandemic. Consequently, I ended up a bit feeling lost. My whole life, I have always known what my next move would be or I was always working towards some goal of mine. Then suddenly, the pandemic hits, school is over, and it was like I was staring into this blank abyss.
One night, about a month after school had concluded, I was just scrolling through Pinterest, as one does, when I saw this quote. It read "when life doesn't go as planned, yell "plot twist" and move on." Reflecting back, that quote completely changed my life. It made me realize, that you can change your life if you change your perspective. Sure, I had been dealt a crappy hand on the school and job front, but I was not doing anything to combat it. In that moment, I decided that instead of being angry over the loss of the last few months of senior year, to be grateful for the time I did get to have. Instead of being upset that I lost my job, I decided to go back to school and get my Master's.
The truth about life is that there are always going to be plot twists we do not see coming. The coronavirus pandemic definitely being one of them. Nevertheless, no matter what the plot twist is, whether your story has a happy ending or not, depends on how you choose to react to it. You can either choose to embrace it and try and make lemonade out of lemons or you can choose to let it take control of you. Who knows, maybe the plot twist is putting you on the path you are truly meant to be on. That is kind of how I feel. Maybe not about the missing out on school bit, but from a career path point of view. Continuing my education is perhaps one of the best decisions I have ever made. A decision I probably would have never made if it were not for the recent events in my life.
If the coronavirus pandemic plot twist has taught us anything, it has shown us how unpredictable and fleeting life can be and it is up to us to make the most if it.