Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Reflections on time, growth and progress during the pandemic

Time, according to the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, is a “big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey… stuff.” I don’t think I can offer a better explanation than that. However, my thoughts on time are changing, especially right now as we are all staying at home in isolation. 

Time is confusing. It’s distant, close, fast and slow. It encompasses every single experience we have, and in a period like this, it seems to become a pressuring weight or a motivator. 

During lockdown, time has made me feel like rice in a pressure cooker. Most of my isolation has been spent on everything other than myself, addressing every issue, problem or concern that is affecting my life at this time, but not actually understanding the impact and weight of time. Years and years of things that we have been taught about the world have been destroyed in a matter of weeks. It really does feel like the end of the world, with every system and structure crumbling in mere moments. 

We as a society have achieved a lot in the time that we have missed

With the ongoing pandemic, a hurricane of social issues have been revealed behind the curtain to us all. Healthcare, welfare and the inequalities of human rights have been pushed into focus and the harsh light of interrogation has been shined on those responsible for caring for society. Our leaders, influencers, celebrities, neighbours, family and friends have been cross-examined and we have all been told our responsibility to understand and help fix the issues we have been presented with. In a short amount of time, our entire society has been put under the microscope.   

A whirlwind of pain, trauma and unrest have been evoked throughout the Black Lives Matter movement and as a result of the injustice being faced in America and around the world. Over several days an explosive outdoor of social media solidarity has proven to overcome and persevere in times of injustice. As of right now, all fifty states across America have seen protests within them, and all over the world, people have come together to march for the injustice not only for the individual George Floyd’s and Breonna Taylor’s of the world but for black lives everywhere. Protests have sparked dialogues around the treatment of all black people who have been affected by police brutality. 

We tend to associate time with growth

During this pandemic, we as a society have achieved a lot in the time that we have missed. Instead of our time being put towards ourselves, we have gained a community. Discussions of mental health and social media have progressed and the very idea of what progress should be has been drastically altered. People are growing to be more open to having discussions on whether the progress we should making is societal, personal or humanitarian. Our individual lives have come together in a collective experience of reflection and self-care.

We tend to associate time with growth. Our achievements overshadow how we think and talk about time. Many of us do not remember what we ate for breakfast last Thursday, but we can remember the first time we rode a bike or finished our first shift at a bad job. Our need for growth and achievement can be a problem as it makes many of us feel as though we aren’t developing or growing. University is about more than just achievement. 

We shouldn’t see time as an issue, we should see it as an opportunity

Time has shown us that it is unwavering and unrelenting no matter what happens. Whether we are inside or outside, in the middle of a pandemic or the middle of an essay – time moves on. We spend our lives not really focusing on how time is involved. Outside of deadlines and minutes on hold for customer service, we don’t really evaluate the impact time has on us. 

I talked earlier about growth and this is particularly important when we think about our university experiences. University in many ways is a little slice of life but it’s about so much more than just achievement. We spend years here and in those years we achieve multiple things, but we also grow. Personal growth is about more than the certificates at graduation, it is about the journey it took to get there. Life is the same in the sense that it’s about actions and reactions. We shouldn’t see time as an issue, we should see it as an opportunity. What do we do with our time, you may ask? Well, that is up to us to decide.


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