This pandemic has been nothing but chaos, and we have all felt the very growing mental health struggle of keeping our positivity up and trying to see the light at the end of this seemingly long dark tunnel.
I am a student. A second-year Advertising and Marketing student at St. Lawrence College, in Kingston, ON. For me, at first, my worries were about the loss of my social life, the loss of my in-school opportunities and making memories of what were supposed to be the best years of my life. Then as things progressed, my thoughts shifted. As the severity of this terrible virus worsened and became our true reality my thoughts and worries became a dark, deep scarier place. I had the realization that “Wow, loved ones, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers are dying. My own family members are battling this very real COVID-19 virus. My parents AND my grandparents are at a very high-risk status if they were ever to contract this virus.” Our new reality suddenly hit me, and I had a decision to make:
- I can let this horrible virus take complete control of my life and my thoughts. I could let it continue to change my life in a negative way or think and fester about the losses we have all faced. I could continue with the negativity that circles our lives and have a bad attitude towards the ever-changing protocols and policies that foster a life filled with fear and denial…. OR
- I could do everything in my power to keep my head up, filled with positive thoughts for not only myself, but also for all of those around me. To create a safe and supportive environment for my classmates, colleagues, friends and family. I know that when I have a smile on my face, it can change my entire perspective. I could continue to take things day by day while doing my part to stop or reduce the spread of COVID. I could keep my community, family and friends safe by keeping my distance, connecting more via the many platforms available to us at our fingertips and help to keep their spirits up.
Then came Plan A Kingston & Quinte! I am one of the lucky few that has still been able to complete my student placement through St. Lawrence College this year and what a better place to complete it than with a company that is literally changing lives for healthcare professionals in our community. Plan A is encouraging healthcare professionals to band together, with #AllHeartsOnDeck, to help residents living in long term care receive the absolute best care possible. How could a simple, young marketing student make a different during this pandemic? The answer…secure a placement with Plan A! Every week I get to work alongside the most amazing, supportive, team-oriented office staff.
With my prior negative outlook, at the beginning of the pandemic I would have questioned how I was making a difference. I am in marketing. I am not on the frontlines. I am not a nurse, so how does any of what I do matter? I now have the opportunity to be a part of a company that is helping those in need and that is doing everything in its power to make sure that we as a team can help keep residents living in long term care safe, healthy, happy and COVID-free. This experience has only helped to grow my new pandemic positive attitude.
During the height of the pandemic, I was told something that has stuck with me. I now choose to live by it every day, and I encourage others to adopt this way of thinking into their lives as well.
“Through all this chaos it has taught me to do one thing. Stop thinking of everything you do in a day as ‘I have to do this. ‘I have to go to work today. I have to get this project done. I have to go do groceries.’ Think of everything in a day as ‘I get to do this today. I get to go to school every day through this pandemic. I get to still work every day while there are so many others that have lost their job due to COVID-19. I get to speak with my loved ones every day because they are still alive.”
This simple shift of thinking has changed not only my perspective since the pandemic but my perspective every single day in life. We get to wake up every day and live the life we have. We do not have to do all these things we take for granted but we get to. Be grateful and be thankful for what we have in life because that is how we will get through this. Remember that even if your job is not directly on the frontline, you are making a difference!
~ Talia Gorgichuk, Advertising & Marketing Communications Intern Student, Plan A Kingston & Quinte