10 Life Lessons I Learned Coming Of Age During A Global Pandemic

Due to Covid policy, my generation was forced to give up part of our high school or college years, years we can never go back to.

By Madison May3 min read
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We never got to experience significant life events, milestones like prom and graduation, and even friendships and opportunities that we will never get the chance to be part of again. Worse, too many people I know suffered some form of mental health crisis or addiction brought on by social isolation.

It’s easy to feel like a victim in this situation or become angry at events that are out of our control, but instead, we can see the government’s mistake as a time of reflection and learning. I have come to realize that you can get something positive out of everything, if only you have the right mindset. Looking back, I’ve thought a lot about psychology, human nature, politics, and religion, and I’ve come up with 10 life lessons that the pandemic made clear to me. 10 things that helped me not only get through the shutdowns, but become a better person as a result. If you take these 10 truths to heart, it's liberating, and the results can truly change your life for the better.

Here are 10 life lessons I learned coming of age during a global pandemic:

1. Happiness Is Internal

Many of the things that made me happy, like school and friends, were taken away from me during the shutdowns, and I was left stranded. In the end, I realized that you can’t rely on external influences to make you happy. Instead, we must find inner contentment. Happiness is largely a state of mind; it’s a choice. It doesn’t matter your location or situation, it all comes down to your perspective and how you view the world. It’s how we choose to interpret our surroundings that makes a difference. 

2. Look For What You Can Learn from Each Person Who Has Entered Your Life

Every person you encounter, like every event that happens, is a learning experience. Although people come and go throughout your life, you can reflect back on what knowing each person has given you insight into. View all interactions as happening for a reason. Figure out what each person has taught you, either as a positive – or negative – role model, and be grateful to them for what they have to offer. 

3. Take Nothing for Granted

Don’t let anyone trick you into feeling guilty. Never take your blessings for granted, for they can be taken away all too easily, as the coronavirus pandemic made clear. 

View life from a poet’s perspective and seek beauty everywhere.

4. Get out of Yourself

One of the most dangerous influences in today’s world is social media. Although it takes much less effort to simply waste your time away online, eliminate social media, get off the internet, and do something worthwhile with your life. Volunteer and be part of something bigger than yourself. Force yourself to take part in social activities even when you don’t feel like it. It will be worth it, and you’ll be glad you did. In the end, this will help widen your perspective of life itself. 

5. Collect Kindred Spirits

Seek kindred spirits wherever you go. These are the people with whom you have an instinctive connection, who see the world from the same perspective as you, and who you can talk to about anything. When you find one, invest in your friendship, hold onto them, and never let them go. Surround yourself with people you want to be like, who make you want to be better. Stay in touch with people you can rely on through thick and thin, the ones who stayed in touch throughout the shutdowns. 

6. Find Inspiration in the Beauty of Nature

Instead of drowning unhappiness in unhealthy habits, turn instead to nature, or even the lack thereof, for there is a certain beauty in the urban wasteland of city lights, of sunset skies, of a single leaf. The moral is to view life from a poet’s perspective and seek beauty everywhere. Find beauty in any location and situation in life. There are many different forms of beauty; there is even beauty in loneliness and suffering.

7. Don’t Take Things Personally

Never identify as a victim; this is a mindset that will only hold you back and lead to anger and resentment. Don’t let rejection or failure get to you, just keep moving forward. In the end, it’s best to accept the things that are out of our control and make the most of what the situation has to offer. It's much more freeing to accept that something is the way it is, and instead make changes where you can.

Live in constant anticipation of something good to come.

8. Surround Yourself with Positivity 

The tone of the music, shows, books, news, and people we surround ourselves with affects us more than we think. So, instead of falling into an endless cycle of sadness, use the effect to your advantage. Surround yourself with positivity and change the way you see the world to an outlook of optimism. Soon, you’ll start to notice the bright side of situations. Trust your instincts – if something feels off, makes you feel angry, upset, or unsettled, then steer clear and turn instead to media that elevates the mind.

9. Always Have Something To Look Forward To

For me, this was Christmastime. Every year, I start looking forward to the holiday each December. Having Christmas to look forward to broke up the endlessness of online school and served as a light at the end of the tunnel. I wondered, why not feel this excitement all year round? So, whether a holiday, a weekend plan, a meal, or a good book you want to read, always have something to look forward to. Live in constant anticipation of something good to come. Ultimately, live for the end goal – and seek to make it a reality.

10. Be a Critical Thinker

Know that the government, the media, and the corporations do not have your best interest at heart. Only you, your friends, and your family have your best interest in mind. If anything made this apparent, it was the pandemic and the way the government and media handled it. Ultimately, everything was about politics and power, not the well-being of the people. Don’t believe or buy into everything you’re told. Instead, look at the ulterior motives that someone might have. Do your research and think for yourself. Independent thought is the pathway to freedom. 

Closing Thoughts

Thankfully, the shutdowns are in the past, and the world is so ready to move on. It's important to remember, however, the long-term effects that policy of that scale can have on a young generation. These are the future leaders and innovators of the world. We’ll likely still be seeing the fallout of Covid policy on those who came of age during the shutdowns in the years to come. Most of all, though, it's key to learn from these setbacks and change our thought processes to optimize every experience. I hope these tips for success and a positive outlook can uplift and inspire anyone who comes across them.

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