Editor’s Note: The following series “One Year Later” is a week-long series curated by Sarah Fox as part of the Digital Research Internship Program in partnership with ViaNolaVie. The DRI Program is a Newcomb Institute technology initiative for undergraduate students combining technology skillsets, feminist leadership, and the digital humanities.
March 17th is a day that will stick with me for the rest of my life, but not for fun St. Patrick’s Day traditions, rather for the day my sophomore year of college at Tulane University promptly came to a halt. I had heard rumors of Tulane sending students home and saw it happening at other schools, but I thought there was no way that this virus I heard about on the other side of the world could warrant such drastic measures. It wasn’t until I saw the moving company, Summertime Storage, set up on campus with storage boxes that I realized my fear had been confirmed. One year later, I am thankfully back on campus with one whole semester in a pandemic under my belt, but it was not without its challenges. Every day, my peers and I sit down at our desks for an online class or mask up to sit in our social distanced lectures, while still expected to maintain the high level of academic success we had in the past. The resiliency I’ve seen in my small Tulane community inspired me to look beyond and find other stories of people and organizations adapting to the obstacles we have faced. This curation pulls stories from the New Orleans area ranging from exciting, safe activities to new ideas or trends that have emerged, demonstrating the power of human perseverance and our ability to make the best out of difficult situations.
I cannot stress enough that the goal of this curation is to highlight some of the good times of this past year since we are so often weighed down by the negative aspects. Through the process of searching for articles, I reflected on my own experience and where I saw positive change in my life. For me, I completely changed the way I exercise which I will stick with for many years to come. Now, I go on long walks (my record being 1 hour and 45 minutes) to not only get my heart rate up and get out of the house, but to clear my mind. Prior to the pandemic, I never had a space where I could do nothing but think and reflect, and I can see the benefits in my daily life. My walks serve as much needed “Me Time” that I use to step away from school or work and focus on my mental health. I never had the patience for yoga or meditation, so getting out and exploring my surroundings is the perfect combination of entertainment and mindfulness. I challenge you, the readers, to let the articles in this curation remind you of positive changes in your life and reflect on how you persevered in your own way.