As we live through the current COVID-19 pandemic, many of us struggle to find the motivation and/or creativity to get us through the days. If we are unable to complete our daily routines of going to class, taking a hike, or going to the gym, then what are we supposed to do? Some of us might answer this question with a simple, “clean the house” or “try new recipes.” However, In 1918, during the influenza pandemic, many citizens decided to write about what they were going through. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Dorman B.E. Kent described his influenza symptoms in great detail. They wrote, “Writing in his journal, the 42-year-old described waking up with a ‘high fever,’ ‘an awful headache’ and a stomach bug.” While Dorman had the creative idea of doing this, what if we are not infected with COVID-19? What do we journal about then? There are many questions to ask yourself while doing so, including: What keeps you motivated each day? How is this pandemic effecting you? Will life be different when it’s over? Many students have decided to take on this challenge and write about what is happening in their lives at this moment.
One student in particular is communication major, Lexi Whitney. Lexi has decided to spend her time quarantined writing about perfectionism and how it holds her back from trying new things. This has helped her realize what she is truly missing out on in the real world. When asking what her journals contain, she stated, “not only am I writing about what I am missing out on but also what I want to do when this is over.”
Another student who has taken on this challenge is communication major, Clara Brookman. Clara has decided to write about what is keeping her motivated through the crisis. Not only are her journals discussing her motivation during the pandemic but also ways her motivation may adjust afterwards. Upon asking Clara about her journals, I received the response, “I have lost a lot of motivation during this pandemic and found myself forgetting to complete my daily household routines. So I decided to write about ways to stay motivated in this time while also discussing how my motivation may change once life is back to normal.”
While Lexi and Clara are writing in different ways than Dorman did, they are still affective. Releasing their ideas and emotions in a creative way can help relieve stressful thoughts and regain lost motivation. Now we (Pawprint staff) challenge you (Maryville students) to take a part in journaling about what you are going through during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not asking you to write an entire book or share your personal pages with us, but to simply open your mind and explain what you are going through.
For more information on Dorman B.E. Kent and his journals, visit this link.