Who knew a pandemic would grace our lives at the end of 2019?
And who knew that it would continue well into 2021?
Most associate the pandemic to something negative; we’ve had to work from home, homeschool, isolate away from friends and family, be forbidden from things we want to to.
Similarly to most of you, COVID-19 drastically changed my life in so many ways.
Looking back now, 2020 was a year of many realisations and opportunities for growth despite the stillness of the world surrounding me. My self-discovery and spiritual awakening accelerated while everyone around me wasn’t moving.
Expectations and Intentions
At the end of 2019, I had many expectations for the year to come. Expectations about life and the way to live. I started 2020 with the intention of completing a degree in Civil Engineering and was awarded Deakin University’s most prestigious scholarship, the Vice Chancellor’s Professional Excellence Scholarship. I made wonderful friends while on res and even more memories.
Not long after this, though, I was having a lot of doubts. Doubts about whether a career in engineering would make me happy, doubts about whether I even wanted to be career-orientated throughout my early 20s. And doubts about doubting my reasons for having all these doubts! It was a confusing time for me.
I was starting to understand what Dan Andrews meant when he said these were uncertain times, even though my uncertain times had little to do with the coronavirus.
I held so many assumptions about the way of life that I was about to jump straight into. Of course, COVID-19 dramatically changed my life by allowing me to become aware of these expectations and intentions. After noticing all of the expectations I held about my life, I had two options: to flourish or to live in the misery of being suffocated by my own past.
After discovering the expectations I held of myself and the world around me, I soon realised how much I had changed over such a short period of time. I had uncovered that pursuing higher education was the most boringly dull thing despite wanting to attend university for as long as I could remember.
COVID-19 drastically changed my life by forcing me to wake up to my reality. I had grown and so had my desires. I was advancing through crises and being offered opportunities of personal growth by the universe.
So I asked myself: what does education really mean?
And I was delighted to find that it can also be defined as “an enlightening experience,” because that’s what 2020 had been for me. I devoted quarantine to questioning everything in my life and the purpose I served in this universe. As the world slowed down to take a much needed break, it allowed me to reflect more deeply on how I spent my time, the people I surrounded myself with, and the content I exposed myself to.
Through the realisation that I had become a beautifully new version of myself, I used quarantine to focus on my individuality and authenticity. I dedicated my time to learning about myself and the world that surrounded me. Inevitably, through all this awareness, I found opportunities for my personal growth and development.
COVID-19 Drastically Changed My Life: What I Learnt
Evidently, I learnt that education is more than grades, scores, learning content, or remembering information. To be educated is to be inspired by everything that surrounds us—the people, nature, life itself.
COVID-19 drastically changed my life because I learnt that not only is a pandemic an unprecedented time, but so are our lives. We’re all doing things that we as individuals have never done or known before. Extraordinary, one of a kind, revolutionary—these are some synonyms of unprecedented. I think they all describe our existence pretty well.
With this in mind, I decided to take this year off university, explore other possibilities and career types, and begin a chapter of uncertainty and new experiences in Geelong.
Learning to Let Go
I encourage you all to think deeply about who you are and what you want to achieve. This can be anything from academics to sport to practical life experiences. Do you want to be an astronaut, or maybe someone who is actively making a change in society? Do you want happiness and peace? Or do you want health and a life full of love? Don’t be afraid of all the possibilities. You’re allowed to change your mind as you evolve.
All I ask is that each of you reading this be authentic human beings. Choose things that bring you everlasting happiness and work hard. Rremember if the things you’re striving for don’t bring you peace, it’s okay to change direction.
It’s important to let go of our expectations. Expectations hold us back from becoming the people we truly need to become.
COVID-19 drastically changed my life and it can change yours too if you no longer hold yourself back by all of your assumptions.
Growing Through Solitude
We all have the power within ourselves to flourish—even while the world around us remains still. Journal daily to discover who you truly are. Take note of your behaviours, how you act, and how your loved ones behave. Make decisions that create liberation from your current situation.
COVID-19 will transform your life in the most beautiful of ways once you are comfortable in your own company.