‘This isn’t it’

Abby Jarecki, Iris Editor-In-Chief

I wrote my last piece entitled “What if this is it?” while schools were closing, events were getting canceled, restaurants were switching to contactless delivery and life was starting to shut down due to COVID-19.

More than a month and a half later, the world looks the same as we stay in our homes, and questions remain in the air. To answer my previous question, though, this isn’t it. This isn’t the end of the world, even if some days have surely felt like it. 

From the beginning of this, I knew that things wouldn’t be easy, and it didn’t help that I’m a graduating senior and someone who has always had a hard time dealing with unknown change. I knew that my well-being throughout this time would have to come from a blend of perspective, silver linings and facing the world head-on.

I wish I could say that every day was filled with this mix of confident optimism, but there have been moments where it felt like everything was going wrong, and that we would never go back to normal. I’ve had a lot of time to sort through the positive and negative thoughts.

But I am writing this because I recently had a revelation. I turned 18 yesterday and with a new age, especially one that signifies adulthood, comes new beginnings. But I’m here, in my home. Where do these new beginnings start?

They start now. I feel as though I’m on the path to my second life, my adult life. I am in the waiting room, where I am coming to the realization that when I get out of here, things are going to be different. I am no longer a child. 

The world around me will be different, and this is the world that I was always told I could make an impact on. This is the world where I will be independent as a college student, employee and leader. This is my adult world, post-coronavirus, and accepting this change is the start to adult life. I believe that since writing my first piece, I have become better at accepting this new world, no matter how strange or different it is.

And as an adult, I will not take things for granted. I will not pass up any opportunities. I will work harder, laugh louder and live bolder than ever before. 

Even though isolation comes with hardships, I am lucky to have gotten this chance to reflect and to focus on myself within the boundaries of my own home. I have taken this time to allow myself to be sad, but, as I transition into adulthood, also address my emotions maturely. I will get out eventually to show the world the bolder, better, blooming version of myself. 

But for now, I am in the waiting room. 

While I am so excited for what’s ahead, now is the time to prepare. Hold on to the good things of the past, refresh for the future. And when I get out of the waiting room, life won’t resume, but begin.