This feels like a twisted version of The Wizard of Oz. Somehow I ended up “home sweet home” without tapping the heels of any ruby red slippers together. If anything, most of us are wishing we could be back at Tulane right now, or at least with our friends in New Orleans. However, a lot of us are home and aren’t feeling ecstatic about it. There is a lot of uncertainty at this time and uncertainty can provoke anxiety and discomfort. All the plans we had in the near future are put on hold and we are wondering what to do now. What am I supposed to do at home? What are my hobbies anyway? Who am I? Here come the identity crises. I’m coining this thing we’re going through as “The Quarantine Quarter Life Crisis.”

Okay, so we’re in a bit of a crisis. However, a life crisis doesn’t have to be a negative thing. This quarter life crisis was coming eventually, so better now than later! This is really just a time to be introspective and do some good ol’ soul searching. I urge everyone to see the opportunity in this time of adversity. We complain how life is so busy and fast paced and we rarely get time to pump the breaks. Even when we are on vacation, it is hard to fully appreciate the sweetness of slowing down, since we’re thinking of all the things that need to be done when life resumes.

Here is your excuse to slow down, for real! This may only come once in your life so take advantage. Allow this time distancing from others to bring you closer to yourself. Who are you when no one is watching? In social situations, we are performing in a sense. Whether we like it or not, we are influenced by our environment. This is your time to create your own environment and let isolation bring about personal liberation. If you’ve always loved painting and never get a chance to do it, pull up some Bob Ross and go to town! Pick up that instrument you haven’t played since high school. Clean your closet and donate the clothes you haven’t worn since you hung out at Dave & Busters in middle school. Read a damn book and one that you want to read, not one that you are forced to for school. Write a damn book; I’m sure someone can make a creative dystopian story about this thing called Corona. There are endless possibilities.

You aren’t sentenced to boredom, you just need some inspiration! Dig deep. Times like these are when creativity is awakened. I’m already astounded by the amount of people finding creative ways to continue connecting with others and make productive use of their time. If you haven’t already, join the group “Impromptu Streams” on Facebook to connect with the Tulane community from your own home. People are posting their workouts, at home concerts, and cooking videos. There are also a bunch of virtual book clubs that you can join. Connect with others and yourself. Challenge yourself to get creative and find ways to stimulate yourself intellectually, physically, and emotionally.

People are going to come out of this with a better understanding of themselves, their passions, and their potential. Appreciate being home with family without the angst of being a high schooler, because it may be the last time you ever live there for an extended period of time again! Life is not at a full stop. Let up on the breaks a little and allow this time to be like a slow coast down an open road. See the opportunity in the Quarantine Quarter Life Crisis. It has the potential to be a humbling, motivating, and liberating experience if you allow it to be.

Cover: The New York Times