#Askingforafriend: Keeping our community united
By Kristin Wyse
GCU Office of Student Care
Campus life looks very different today. The Promenade and Student Union are empty, eateries are closed and there’s barely a student in sight.
Two words came to my mind: eerie and serene. Two words that seem to completely contradict themselves.
Campus life is a perfect representation of our city, state, country and world today. There is an eeriness with the uncertainty of how life will look like in the next week or month.
Yet there is also a presence of beauty in all of us slowing down and taking stock of the things and people in our life, especially being grateful for the current health and well-being of those we love.
In this time of slowing down, I had the opportunity to read the most recent issue of GCU Magazine, “Light Years Ahead,” and the word that is threaded throughout this special issue is community. The community of students, professors, employees, student workers and alumni and the community surrounding the campus.
In reflection, it made me start thinking how our GCU community is being affected and threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the abrupt end to the semester.
During these dark and uncertain times, I think it’s crucial to remember daily who is in OUR community and to intentionally stay connected.
It’s easy to escape the uncertainty by binge watching a Netflix series or catch up on hours of sleep. Or by spending hours on social media or watching the news under the guise of being connected. Instead, you start to feel alone, angry and fearful about what we’ve lost and what we may lose in the uncertain future.
Amid these eerie times, we can choose to create moments of serenity by being present-focused and intentional in connecting with ourselves and our community to combat the loneliness, sadness, anger and fear we all are experiencing.
We can do this by identifying our own feelings, thoughts and needs during this time of uncertainty and by using our technology and other activities to reach out and express ourselves to those in our community, even when it cannot be face to face.
Some examples could be calling or FaceTiming a friend or family member, enjoying a sunrise or sunset with someone special, creating a book club with others remotely, baking or cooking for friends or neighbors in need, working on a family puzzle, spring cleaning with family members, sending snail mail to someone who needs encouragement, having a game night with family or enjoying a new or old hobby.
In this technologically savvy world, we can miss the mark by being connected to our technology while still feeling disconnected from each other. I encourage our Lopes community to reach out to your community of support – those who help strengthen you and encourage you through difficult times.
Let us continue to display the strength of our GCU community as we are distanced across this nation and world. Intentionally connect with others to make a difference and shine our GCU light of community for years ahead.