This morning as I reached over to turn off my alarm (or maybe hit snooze) I managed to knock a water bottle, my watch and a box of tissues onto the floor. Once I dragged myself out of my warm bed, I dropped the shampoo bottle on my foot in the shower and got lotion in my eye after putting my contacts in. I took it out to clean it and somehow put it back in my eye inside out. Once I sorted the left eye out, I realized I had a hair in my right eye. I thought to myself, “All right. It’s going to be that kind of day.”
We’ve all had them, but they seem so much worse during the pandemic. We’re all rushing around trying to stay safe, do our jobs, take care of families and go along like we’re not all living in an incredibly stressful and scary time.
We rush to our home offices, if we’re lucky, or to our jobs in the public sphere, putting our lives at risk. Our work lives have spilled over until we can no longer tell when we’re not working or at least thinking about work. We’re juggling remote learning for our kids and holding businesses together. Many have suffered unimaginable loss, and all of us have had our worries compounded.
I’ve noticed that while many of us will cut others slack and show grace, we are much harder on ourselves. We hold ourselves to the highest expectations to be our very best every minute when it’s completely fine, and expected, that we will falter. We try to work harder and faster and forget that sometimes it’s okay to give ourselves a break.
What’s important to remember is that no matter how we’re coping, whether we’re having great success or simply getting out of bed, we’re doing what we can and that’s enough. Give yourself grace — however you are coping, you are doing an amazing job.
Future generations will look back at us and marvel at our resilience. It’s time we spent some time marveling at ourselves.
Recently, Brian Johnson, assistant professor of human development and family studies, took time to marvel at his students. He reflected on teaching during COVID and how his students have risen to the occasion. He hopes his “classroom will provide a space of solace and peace at least twice a week, where students can forget about their daily stressors and focus solely on learning and being supported.”
Read his Faculty voice: Saluting Spartan students to learn more about his experience and why he says his students “not only represent the importance of bidirectional learning but also the best that can come out of such tumultuous times.”
He sounds like a pretty incredible instructor. While he’s saluting his students, I do hope he takes some time to salute himself for all he’s doing for these young Spartans.
Faculty members are so key to the success of students. When Joe Strother, an advertising and public relations major, transferred to MSU from Lansing Community College, he says he “had a serious reality check” and felt like he was “behind the ball” compared to his peers. After one semester, the pandemic hit, and he became even more unsure. But after reaching out to instructor Alexandrea Thrubis Stanley, he found a way to fit in and succeed.
Read his Student view: Making my mark at MSU to learn more about his experience with a new student-led, faculty-guided marketing and communications agency at MSU.
Sometimes, finding that special something outside of classwork means all the difference in a student’s experience. Senior Arianna Farina is studying marketing but also is president of Sustainable Spartans. She says, “Student organizations provide an important community aspect to college life, and I’m proud to say we’ve carried that into the virtual space.” Read her Student view: Going virtual to learn more about how she’s made sure students can still feel a sense of belonging during remote learning.
The great thing about MSU is that there are so many ways to fit in and make your mark. Success looks different for every person and the opportunities are endless. Let’s not forget that celebrating even the smallest accomplishments are even more important now.
Given the start to my morning and an overall feeling of exhaustion, I was feeling pretty unsure as I sat down at my computer today. I knew I had to write something, but I felt completely tapped out. I began a self-doubt spiral before I stopped myself and gave myself grace. This might not be the best thing I ever write, but it’s the best thing I can write at this moment and that’s enough. Take care of each other, Spartans. But never forget to take care of yourselves, too. Spartans Will.
Lisa MulcroneEditor, MSUToday