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30 things I’ve learnt during a pandemic

30 things I’ve learnt during a pandemic


Written by Greta Porter

I never thought when I had to move home from uni in March 2020 that this would be the new normal for years to come. Having lived through a pandemic for two years now, it’s safe to say I’ve learnt a lot – as I’m sure many others have too.

From ‘everything happens for a reason’ to navigating ‘break out’ rooms over Zoom, here are 30 things I’ve learnt during a pandemic over the last 2 years:

  1. Appreciate the good times while they last. Pretty self-explanatory.
  2. Everything happens for a reason. Ahhhh I know it’s so cliché, but it’s true.
  3. Resilience in the face of adversity. From several cancelled placements to yet another postponed event / holiday and even more lockdowns, we really have had endless adversities thrown at us these last 2 years.
  4. Essential workers really are our backbone – THANK YOU.
  5. Just how damn good travelling is.
  6. Just how damn good live music is. I guess you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
  7. The importance of the people around you, even your pets.
  8. The names of politicians. Those 11am Gladys updates became a ritual.
  9. Accept what is out of your control. Focus on what you can control.
  10. Negativity won’t get you anywhere. Although it was hard at times to not look at all the negatives the pandemic brought, having a positive mindset and focusing on those positives is what helps in moving forward.   
  11. Panic buying is just straight up embarrassing. Australia really did become a bit of a laughing stock with our toilet paper shortage…
  12. Social media and the online world are honestly a godsend especially in a pandemic. Imagine going through a pandemic locked in your house without the ease of social media to connect with people or doing online groceries.
  13. Finding new hobbies and interests keeps life interesting.
  14. How to prioritise my physical, mental and social well-being. A teacher I follow on Instagram (@giftedandtalentedteacher) emphasises the need to check in with your physical, mental and social well-being and it’s something I’ve reflected on quite a bit. Ask yourself ‘what do I need right now? What area of my well-being do I need to focus on?’. This could mean getting in touch with friend/family, going for a walk or re-watching that comfort show.
  15. Humans really are destroying the planet. The fact people in Northern India could see the Himalayas for the first time in almost 30 years when the world stopped is just incredible.
  16. Do things while you can because we never know what life will throw at us.
  17. The importance of being selective about what media you consume. The news can be so taxing at times, so I’ve gotten a lot more specific about what news I consume and from what news sources. I’m a lot better off because of it.
  18. Pyjama pants are perfectly acceptable for an important Zoom call.
  19. Uni really can be difficult online. The ease of waking up 5 minutes before a class is amazing, but the lack of in-person interaction, feedback and communication can make it incredibly unmotivating and difficult.
  20. Don’t even get me started on break out rooms.
  21. You don’t need the exact brand of everything. No John West tuna? Coles brand will be perfect.
  22. I’ve learnt to sort out my priorities. Things at the top of my priority list include; handing in my assessments, travelling as soon as I can, booking those event tickets, and taking my iron pills.
  23. Good Wi-Fi is a necessity.
  24. Good friends are a necessity.
  25. Slowing down life is exactly what you need sometimes. Many found time for their neglected hobbies and others realised they needed a career change.
  26. After several vaccinations and a booster, maybe, just maybe needle phobias can get better…
  27. I never want to hear the word unprecedented again.
  28. Whipped iced coffee is impeccable (thank you TikTok).
  29. That even though I’m locked indoors, I will still spend my money. Treat yourself I say.
  30. And finally, I never want to go through a pandemic again.

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