Reading Time: 2 minutes

Everyone can agree that these times are unprecedented and unusual to us. People have been impacted in different ways and handled these times uniquely. I have been fortunate enough to stay safe during the pandemic and am fortunate to say that conquering the boredom that struck during 5 month quarantine was my only challenge. However, seeing others less fortunate than I have made me reflect and appreciate what I have.

Being in my house for more time than I’d ever like to be again has made me realize what we all took for granted before the pandemic. I missed my friends, missed my job, and was even desperate enough to miss school. They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone and that is the lesson I learned over this 5 month period. I had always talked about all the things I could do if I had more time, and now I had no more excuses. To try and stay productive I tried to limit my screen time, get some form of physical activity, and get outside in the sunshine. I started a 9 week running program and went down to my town’s high school track every weekday to exercise. I also picked up reading and painting since I had no school or commitments to tend to. At the end of quarantine I felt proud of all the tasks I accomplished before going back to my busy schedule of online school and work.

My family spent our time up North at our lake house where we could be quarantined while still secluded from the outside world. We spent time on the boat, in the sun, and playing cards late at night. I was a bit disappointed when my birthday rolled around late summer since I knew I wouldn’t be able to celebrate like usual. To make the best of the situation my family surprised my with a trip to Pictured Rocks in the upper peninsula – which I’ve wanted to visit since middle school. We did the popular 10 mile hike (which my dad forgot his hiking shoes and did in flip flops) along with a 5 mile kayak trip up the shoreline. We picked perfect days because the weather was not too hot or humid. We even hiked to a few waterfalls. It was a very fun time to bond with family and enjoy God’s beautiful creation while staying safe and socially distant.

This summer was not like normal but I learned to appreciate what I have and not take for granted times when I saw my friends regularly and could go to concerts. I miss stores not closing as early and being able to be within 6 feet of people, but I was able to accomplish things I’ve talked about for a very long time. There are many negative outlooks on these times, however it is important to keep a positive attitude and make the best out of the situation.