Fully unsure where to even start with this post, but let’s give it a go. This blog has gone a bit quiet due to COVID-19, remote learning, and the general state of the world right now. Columbia went to fully online classes on April 4th, which has become our new reality as we near the end of the school year. The time at home has, for better and for worse, given me the space to really think about the state of the world and my place within it. When things have become overwhelming, I’ve found it helpful to name the things I am grateful for:
- My family, friends, and I have all been able to stay healthy and friends that had COVID-19 have all recovered
- I was able to continue school work and graduation (while being virtual) will still take place
- My part time job at Steppenwolf was able to keep me on payroll and working from home throughout this time
- I have the best roommate and dog to help keep me grounded
- And finally, I believe now more than ever that the arts are an integral part of society
To elaborate on the last piece: Since we all have had to retreat into our homes, I think we are all finding that we miss the gathering spaces we may have taken for granted pre-COVID. Particularly, the arts have always been a way to bring people together for some sort of a communal experience. Gallery openings. Film screenings. Live theatre and concerts. Festivals. All of these provide essential community building that is now starkly missing from our lives. Coronavirus has taken these away for the current moment, but has made me into an even fiercer advocate for the arts. I am eager to play a part in how the arts survive this crisis and thrive in the new reality we create.
All of that said, it has been a major mental shift in job hunting. Prior to the everything shutting down, I was focusing my energy in finding jobs in management and fundraising for nonprofit theatres. Due to the pandemic, most of these opportunities have been put on hold. While this has definitely created some stress, I am actually finding some peace in the fact that I can now take the pressure off of myself to find the perfect job or the exact right next step. The current landscape has forced me to give myself some grace by working to find something stable for the next year or so rather than obsessing on making the right decision.
This is never how I imagined my time ending at Columbia. My cohort and I had grand plans of lunches at the lake in between classes, happy hours galore, and walking across the stage at graduation. While we won’t get to do those things, we have gotten to connect in ways we wouldn’t have before and really cherish our virtual time together. Columbia has been an incredible playground over the last two years, which has allowed me to explore different passions, make deep connections, and grow into a stronger professional and human. While this may be goodbye for me, I’m delighted to know that Columbia will continue to serve this purpose for generations of grad students to come!
Sending all the love and good vibes to all of you,