Hot (girl) Quarantine Summer

When we began the New Years’ countdown to 2020, none of us would have imagined summer in Edmonton like this. Limited capacity to your favourite restaurants and boutiques, the Fringe Festival and K-Days cancelled, increased isolation—but summer hasn’t completely disappointed.

When I knew that it wouldn’t be my typical summer, I set out to make it an unforgettable one nonetheless. Here’s how:

Get one-on-one time in

I was supposed to visit my friends from residence at the Calgary Stampede this summer. We had to abruptly and unexpectedly say goodbye in March like so many of you, naively believing that the pandemic would be over in time for Calgary’s greatest celebration. We fought hard to stay in contact and we adapted, using Netflix Party to continue watching Grey’s Anatomy together and discussing the finale of The Bachelor over walls of text.

Every year for a week in August, friends from high school and I would visit a friend in British Columbia. Because of the travel restrictions, I wasn’t able to go this year. Instead, we spent the week playing video games together and visiting local monuments virtually, thanks to Google Maps.

Learn to adapt to changes

When I first heard that campus was going to be shut down, I mourned the loss of my summer employment opportunities (one within residence and another at a summer camp). However, what I didn’t know is that by missing out on those plans, the door would open to many more.

I became involved in many campus clubs, pursued a potential research position for next summer and had a chance to develop personal skills such as digital design and writing that aided me in landing my current social media-based roles. I learned that being tunnel-minded can lead to disappointments, but by keeping your options open, something good this way comes.

Start something new

In past years, I was never one to explore the outdoors. However, once my local gym closed its doors, I was forced out of my comfort zone into the Edmonton river valley. I found my new passion—trail running.

My activities didn’t stop there: I participated in a number of Campus & Community Recreation’s free online classes where I attempted everything from hip hop to kung fu to pilates. Outside of that, I also tried tubing, kneeboarding and skateboarding for the first time and I loved every minute of it.

Through all of the uncertainties, I tried to stay positive. To be honest, it wasn’t easy. There were times when I would lament the cancelled plans and ask the world why we were going through all of this turmoil. However, I found comfort in the new experiences—activities I never would have sought out if it weren’t for the pandemic that was supposed to limit our lives. Oh, the irony.

I want to bring this energy into Fall 2020. I want to continue living for each day despite the obstacles ahead. We all have the capacity to do more—and be more, too. I challenge you to do that, so here’s to a new beginning. Even though we all can’t be on campus together or even live in residence as usual, we can still make it a year we won’t forget!