By Elizabeth Exline
While the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic has been both profound and global, it has given people at least one silver lining: the opportunity to take a step back and rethink what they want from life. Whether it's a change in jobs or simply a change in attitude, faculty and students from University of Phoenix share the most meaningful ways the pandemic has changed them for good.
“I no longer allow moments to connect with others or to take a needed work break to go by. I act on those opportunities, and I prioritize moments with friends and family. At the end of the day, my work will still be there. The ability to go for a walk and socialize with a friend may not be.”
“The pandemic has helped me learn how to focus on what's truly important, taught me never to take anything for granted and helped me remember that tomorrow is never promised. During the pandemic, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and she basically had to go through it alone because no one was allowed to be there with her. But she just went to her check-up after treatment on Tuesday, and she is now cancer-free!”
“The pandemic made me remind myself of all that is good in my life and know that others suffer so very much. It, the pandemic, made me rededicate my life to education and the pursuit of education. I gave up great comfort and wealth to teach in a historically underserved area in St. Louis but found love, care and the most authentic, humble and kind people I've ever met. I no longer fret on my minor problems; I seek to help and serve others. Before the pandemic, I was a math and science teacher; now, I teach Physics and AP stats to some of the most brilliant children I've ever met. I am proud of their accomplishments and marvel at their brilliance.”
“I lost my uncle at the beginning of the pandemic to cancer, and the last thing he said to me was to make memories no matter the cost because tomorrow isn't a guarantee. His daughter turns 30 on Saturday, and she is getting tests done because she has been sick lately. So, I learned to make every minute count, to always tell people that you love them and to go for your dreams because you only get one life. So here I am, eight classes [away] from making my dream come true!”