Life is a paradoxically contradictory these days.

My everyday life has changed little. The main difference is that all of my classes were online. Otherwise, I continued to live my life the way that I had been. When I look out my window, the world appears no different. However, that is clearly not the case. The health care system and cities are burning to the ground, one figuratively and the latter more literally. Police are responding to police brutality protests with more police brutality. The federal government only knows how to take action when it concerns their corporate sponsors or the Dow Jones. On a more personal note, my car that I recently fixed is suffering from a fairly serious oil leak. School is ending, and I have yet to find a job that will make me enough money over the summer for next year. This is causing me dread, because I want a break but I also want enough money to afford school next year.

It’s not all bad though. SpaceX successfully sent two Americans to the international space station. They’re making steady progress on their Starlink wifi network. This is exciting for me because I believe that it will provide much better internet connection than any other service currently in terms of combined coverage and speed. Also, job I do have is enjoyable despite not having enough hours. I intrinsically enjoy problem solving and helping others and tutoring allows me to do both of those things, especially with upper level math students.

The reason why I’m bothered by the world and how my life is lies within not knowing. With the world, I don’t know how to change it or even how, explicitly, I would like it to change. The same for my personal life. I don’t know what I want to do or how to figure that out. It definitely seems like I keep trudging on because I have nothing better to do, not that I have a goal that I’m striving towards or that I sufficiently enjoy the steps.

At the same time, I appreciate how much my life has improved over the past couple of years. My mood is generally much better than it had been. I no longer space out randomly. My anxiety and my loneliness are essentially nonexistent now. I experienced the joy of playing music for parties and for a musical this year. I finally learned how to use basic graphic design software to make my own digital art. I finally learned what the Israeli-Palestine conflict was about. I know more than I did and I have gained or improved my skills. While I still have a ways to go, I appreciate that I have come this far.

I also have the quarantine to thank for exposing me to anime, diecast racing, marble racing, and webtoons.

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Iqmal Wolfenden

Iqmal is the Web Magazine Director. He is currently studying for his biochemistry and biophysics degree.

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