Community Stories Part 7

Name: Jonathan

Age: 13

“Lessons Learned During Covid-19

As the world copes with Covid-19, the way many people view the world has changed, me included. Thankfully, my family and I have been extremely fortunate, being able to both stay home and work and afford basic amenities. As we shelter in place, reading the news, we hear of millions who have had their entire lives disrupted by this pandemic. Although the coronavirus has not directly affected me, it has completely changed my view of some aspects of life . Growing up, I have been extremely lucky, living in a safe environment, never having to worry about money, having access to one of the best schools in the state, and having close friends. However, because of the pandemic and the economic recession, I have learned that one never knows what life is going to throw his or her way and that without self-discipline and a certain amount of competitiveness, it is nearly impossible to succeed.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused my view of stability to change. I am extremely blessed , having never experienced any health problems, wars, or loss of my basic rights. As a result, my life has been quite stable. However, because of the current pandemic, I have realized that life is not as stable as I used to think. For example, in January 2020, as I prepared to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family, a virus came almost out of nowhere, spreading like a wildfire. Then as my family prepared for quarantine, my father, a patent lawyer, told me that his workstream had slowed down drastically. When he told me this, I thought, “What terrible timing.” Covid-19 has taught me that no one can really anticipate what will happen to him or her in the future.
During quarantine, my view on self-discipline has also changed. I have always understood that self-discipline is important, but this outbreak has led me to develop a deeper appreciation of its importance. Now that I am taking classes remotely, I have many distractions. Although school has been shortened to two to three hours, I am often even “busier” than ever. I often find myself going to sleep at one in the morning and occasionally missing assignments. I have discovered that when there are a lot of distractions in my environment, instead of trying harder to ignore them, I often become even more distracted. As someone who is not the most disciplined, remote learning has been a challenge. It has been difficult to resist watching a video or getting a snack during class. But now that I understand that the only way for me to prepare for unprecedented events is by working hard in school, self-discipline has become more important to me. In order to lessen the effects of my lack of self-discipline, I have started taking extracurricular courses online both to become more prepared for high school and to help me ignore unhelpful distractions. I have also begun to remove distractions from my workspace and to replace them with items that can improve my efficiency.
Also because of the ongoing pandemic, I have learned the importance of being competitive. Long before the pandemic struck, my dad had tried to teach me that it is very difficult to achieve anything without a competitive spirit. On one occasion, I remember being scolded by my father after a sixth-grade recreational basketball game for being “too passive” and “giving the ball to the other team.” I realize that I lack competitiveness. My entire life, I have been passive and easygoing. In soccer, I would follow the ball but never make contact. In basketball, I would jump but not reach for the ball. Even now, the sport I play, volleyball, is relatively less aggressive than soccer or basketball, yet I still play the setter position, which requires the least aggression. Recently, as my father started searching for more stable jobs, I realized that although there are coveted openings across the nation, the chance of securing one is not high because there are many other applicants competing for the same openings. As a child, a competitive spirit would have helped me win a weekly sixth-grade recreational basketball match, but as an adult, a competitive spirit will be able to help me secure a coveted job, something much more important than a township basketball match.
Although this global pandemic has presented us with many unprecedented challenges and difficulties, it, on the other hand, has also taught me a few very valuable lessons: that life is not as stable as I’d like to think and that to better cope with future unforeseen challenges, I must equip myself with self-discipline and a spirit of competitiveness.”

Looking to submit your own story and experience? Click here to fill out the Life in Livingston During COVID-19: A Community Story form.


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