May 23, 2020

COVID-19: A Blessing in Disguise?

Sometimes, blessings come in ugly wrapping paper,” said best-selling author Richie Norton. COVID-19 has reached out and affected everyone in some way, but I have found it to be a blessing in disguise. While there are some setbacks to work around, I have been able to find good in this pandemic.

I am a junior at Maplewood Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist school, and a Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) student at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson, Minnesota, United States. School is now online, and things are changing accordingly. Am I enjoying it? Quite frankly, yes! I have never been this thrilled to be taking college classes as I am during this whole fiasco.

Usually, I would be dealing with the stress of finding places to stay over home leaves and transportation to college, since the college’s breaks don’t line up with Maplewood’s calendar. However, with online arrangements now in place, the courses I am taking have made connecting optional. The homework is assigned through weekly checklists that I can complete any time, making the college classes a breeze.

I receive dual credit for my college courses, reducing the number of classes I take at Maplewood Academy considerably. I only have to sign in for one class each day. Gymnastics is missing in action, and I am left with Bible and chemistry classes alternating throughout the week. With Maplewood’s class schedule set to have junior-senior classes in the afternoon, I can sleep in and stay up late if I so desire.

I have considerably more time to get things done as well as a new opportunity to spend time with family. I can love on Oreo, the family dog, whenever I see her walking by, and occasionally pester my older brother now that he has come to stay for the duration of the quarantine. I play card games with my parents, complete puzzles with my grandma, and even do monkey-in-the-middle with Oreo. We haven’t had this much time to spend with each other in a long time, and we are taking advantage of it.

Some school events could not take place because of COVID-19. For the ones that could not be postponed, creative arrangements had to be made. One event, the National Honor Society (NHS) Induction for new members required finding a way to induct and celebrate its inductees.

I was one of them, and I received the creative arrangement in a box through the mail. Inside was a framed certificate of membership, along with a candle, a few party supplies, and instructions on what to do. We did as the instructions stated — we took a few photos and a video to remember the occasion, and then had a little celebration complete with ice cream (personally supplied) and a confetti popper.

Even though I wasn’t able to experience the usual induction, I got to experience the interesting opportunity of “NHS Induction in a Box," as it was dubbed, a rare chance that COVID-19 made possible. I thoroughly enjoyed the creativity put into it and understand that a usual induction couldn’t happen under these circumstances.

I am thankful for the opportunities God has given me because of this pandemic, and I am grateful that, as of yet, my family has not been too severely affected. But I do keep in mind that we are together, we are well, and we have what we need to survive, which is more than what some can say in these tough times. I hope that things go back to normal soon, and I continue to trust in God as He leads through these uncertain times. I hope that you also will find a blessing in these times, just as I have.

The original version of this commentary was posted by the Mid-America Union Conference Outlook.