Everyone deals with the pressure of being virtual differently, and not everyone else is going to understand what you are going through. On top of this pandemic and virtual environment, people can be going through things much more personal than they are willing to admit. So, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. It is okay if you need a break. There are so many things going on in life right now, that things at times will seem overwhelming, and you are not alone. We can get caught up in living the same day over and over again that we might not realize what is going on with our health both mentally and physically. Take a break. Turn the screens off and give yourself time to recover.

2. Maintain your relationships with those you trust. It is quite easy to feel alone at times, but it is very important that you check in with the people that are your foundation. Do not lose the trust and bonds you have created with people because you can not see them in person.

3. Realize that it is also okay to fall behind, so long as you have a plan to catch up. Prioritize what has deadlines, meet those deadlines, and catch up on the stuff that does not have deadlines as much as you can.

4. Set goals. Life can be quite monotonous. Whether it be working out once a day, learning how to cook a meal every week, creating a piece of art every month, or teaching your dog a new trick, always keep moving forward and be ambitious. Never be content. Keep on doing more and learning and growing even though life might seem stagnant.

It does not matter whether the person is your boss, someone you work with, someone who works for you, or someone you just met, treat people with kindness. The world might have turned sour, but that does not mean you should play along or add to anyone else’s stress. If you notice someone is struggling, do not come in guns blazing. Have a conversation, talk to them about what is going on in their life, understand, and bring them out of the struggle together. That’s what good leaders do. That is what good friends do. That is what we, as humans, were born to do. There is no need to demoralize or put someone down because you might be handling things better than the next person.

The silver lining of this peculiar time in history is that you will learn about yourself, and you will learn about the people who have your back and, more importantly, the ones who don’t. The pill might be hard to swallow at times, but we should all be taking the time to grow and cherish the relationships we have.

Steven Douglass

Steven Douglass

MAJOR: Aerospace Engineering YEAR: Class of 2021 HOMETOWN: Bentonville, Arkansas PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @steven_douglass22 On campus I have conducted biomimetic research in the Dryden Wind Tunnel since freshman year. Outside of Viterbi, I am involved in Greek Life and play on the USC Club Baseball Team.

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