Opinion | The gift of kindness in times like this

Published by , Date: December 3, 2021

We have finally arrived at the end of the semester.

I don’t know about you, but for me, this semester felt like 10 semesters wrapped into one.

Surely August was at least three to five years ago, right?

I’m not sure if it is because I am in my senior year or because I was involved in 67 group projects in my classes, but something made these past 14 weeks feel much more…involved than usual.

But none of that matters now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. One more week and we’re all home free.

There is something to be said about being a college student during a pandemic. It wasn’t an experience I had anticipated ever having, and one that I really wish I had been given the opportunity to politely opt out of. Yet, here we are.

I was a second semester sophomore when the world shut down, and now, in a few short months, I will graduate.

It hasn’t been easy, but it has come with a few lessons for myself, and for many of us, as we attempt to navigate this world we are living in.

Here are some things I have learned along the way:

  • Remote learning requires a lot of self-discipline, fortitude and focus. What it does not (conveniently) require…is pants.
  • I’m not good at recognizing people with their masks and have walked right past friends of many years without so much as a smile because of it.
  • Pandemics get people talking more about self-care and mental health. This outcome has been a positive effect of the global crisis. I hope we keep talking long after things return to normal, or as normal as possible, anyway.
  • I can’t hear…at all. Never did I realize how much lip reading I do until sitting in a classroom of masked people with a fan running in the background.
  • It really is all about the little things in life. When everything shut down and life all but stopped, I feel we all discovered what really mattered to us. For some, it was family time, for others, it was alone time. For me, it was cheese popcorn and a good cry. It was a gift, in a way, to be left alone with ourselves, at least to an extent. Some of us didn’t really know ourselves all that well. Another positive outcome, I think.

And finally:

  • Kindness really is our most valuable asset as human beings. I’ve seen it on this campus, and in my personal life more often in these past couple of years than ever before. Not everyone is kind. Not everyone seems to deserve kindness, but we all do. And the acts of generosity that I have witnessed throughout this time of crisis has really, truly been beautiful.

Have a great rest of the semester, friends. See ya next year! (A mom’s version of a Dad joke).

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Kali Davies-Anderson is a Junior Public Health Major with plans to become a Physician Assistant after graduation. She has a strong background in the theater arts, having attended a performing arts school in New York City in her younger years. She is now married and has five children, ages nine months to nine years old. She loves coffee, murder documentaries and the theater. She is excited to be a contributor for The Rocket!


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