It’s the Little Things
Now that Furman is at a place where we can lessen some COVID-19 restrictions, we can now experience some of the little things we have been lacking.
As the weather warms and the flowers bloom, let’s use the outdoor spaces we have to safely put on more student events.
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On one of my walks a couple days ago, I noticed something strange, something I had not noticed in quite a long time. The soccer and rugby teams were scrimmaging, the track team was running laps, and in the distance, I could hear muffled music from the football stadium. People were sitting outside, on blankets, chairs and hammocks. Others were playing volleyball, basketball, and spikeball. All of a sudden, campus seemed to me filled with life, a bustling hum of activity long overdue. I finally felt as though things were happening around me.
Now, maybe the positive feeling I experienced on this walk was simply the result of the warmer weather. And perhaps I now have a heightened sensitivity to the presence of people due to decreased social interaction. But, I would not be lying if I said that this semester feels much more alive than the last. What accounts for this new sense of liveliness? I think it is the little changes that have taken place this semester. Most people attest that the smallest things can make or break your day, whether it is a kind note from a friend, or the unfortunate spilling of some coffee. Now that Furman is at a place where we can lessen some of our COVID-19 restrictions, we can now experience some of the little things we have been lacking.
We have sorely missed doing so-called normal things, like going out to eat, having parties and spending time with friends and loved ones without the fear of transmitting a virus. We no longer take what once was typical for granted. But, with the end of the pandemic in sight, these small, normal activities are starting to return. Compared to last semester, there are now more events, more new ways to meet other students and more options for dining and exercise. We can now go to football games. We can watch plays outdoors in person. We can swim in the Physical Activities Center. We can enjoy the pasta bar in the Dining Hall or nachos from the food trucks that make rounds from dorm to dorm. There are even events, such as the one a couple days ago, where we can spend time with adorable cats! (As a cat lover, I was simply ecstatic about this one!) And, though they are no replacement for our usual breaks, we now have mental health days that provide a bit of respite from the academic grind. These are all changes that have brought a bit of joy as we go about our life at Furman.
None of these changes are drastic alterations to our daily lives, nor are they solutions to some of the campus’ bigger problems. However, though these things are seemingly small, they have great value. They give us little moments of surprise, delight and camaraderie in a time when all of these are sorely lacking.
My challenge to the Furman community is to keep on implementing these pleasant little changes as this year goes on. As the weather warms and the flowers bloom, let’s use the outdoor spaces we have to safely put on more student events. Let’s keep having food trucks and gradually expanding the DH. Let’s keep on attending sporting events and putting on plays. And as the virus begins to subside, let’s use these little things to breathe life back into our campus.