This is not said lightly – this is your 9/11 moment. You were going to school, hanging out with your friends,… and then you suddenly weren’t and the world changed quickly. There is no doubt that being a student right now is a challenge. There aren’t books written on what to do about your job search when there is a global pandemic, and it’s hard not to notice the intense unemployment numbers right now.
What you can do right now is control what you are doing and how you react to what is happening outside your home regardless of where you are living right now.
Check in With Yourself
Take care of yourself – mentally, physically and emotionally. If you have some unhealthy habits, this is the time to get rid of them. Stop drinking, stop smoking (whatever you are smoking), and go for a walk or a run. Play basketball. Eat your veggies. Jam on your guitar. Download a meditation app. Make sure you are ready for the road ahead.
Did your plans change? You thought you were going to have internship, but your plans are falling apart in front of you. Or maybe your family is going through a health or financial crisis and all plans are on hold. When we talk about forming good men and good citizens, it’s for moments like these that test even the most formidable gentlemen.
This is the time to reassess your goals – and rethink your strategy. Maybe making that first million dollars seems a little trivial right now, and you want to be useful. You want to impact people in the best way. And remember, there are companies still hiring right now that are essential for healthcare, supply chain, and educational technology- including CVS Health who is hiring over 50,000 positions in their corporate offices as well as customer service representatives.
Volunteering to help people keeps you from feeling helpless, and there are plenty of people who need your support.
Your Local Community:
- Meals-on-Wheels provides meals to the elderly living in their homes and is in need of volunteers who can deliver means typically between 11am and 1pm. As a nationwide program, this is an easy way to help vulnerable people who aren’t able to get to the grocery store.
- Farm Aid is a great resource to learn how you can support local farms not just for sustainability and to fight climate change, but to find and support a local family farm in your area.
Supporting a variety of Non-Profits with different skills: Operation Warm is an organization that finds warm coats for kids in need. But they also put together this great list of other organizations seeking volunteers who can help from home. Here are a few of their suggestions:
- Volunteer to Translate with Translators without Borders.
- Record audiobooks for Librivox.
- Lend your eyes to solve tasks for blind and low vision people. Visit Be My Eyes.
- Track bird populations with eBird.
- Look at satellite images of storm and help researchers predict cyclone behavior with Cyclone Center.
Minority Communities: The Navajo Nation has been particularly hit by the caronavirus, partially due to underlying health issues within the Native community and the lack of technology (including basic electricity), economic challenges, and even water resources. Protect the Sacred is informing the public of how they can help this vulnerable community with support from celebrities including Taika Waititi, Paul Rudd and Mark Ruffalo.
Tiger Tip: If you are the Philanthropy Chair of your fraternity, this is the time to make things happen. COVID-19 is creating economic challenges in many communities, including Prince Edward County. This is why you were elected to the position – now what are you going to do with this leadership opportunity? Keep in mind, the Red Cross usually gets donors at college campuses (which are closed right now), but you can still make an appointment and give blood.