By: Diana Spencer
Being a college student during a pandemic may have been one of the strangest periods of life thus far. We were banned from our campuses, sent back to live in childhood bedrooms and even lost dream jobs and internship opportunities. We are young adults who are supposed to be sharpening our skills, finding ourselves and exploring this great big world. But how can we do this when the world itself is telling us to stay in and wait it out?
At least that’s what I thought until I realized that the world isn’t slowing down for us, so why are we slowing down for it? I will wear a mask; I will stay inside; and I will put up with my Zoom fatigue every morning. But I will not let the changes occurring in the world around me change my path to success. This is the time to put yourself out there, apply yourself to mastering your skills, and, when the pandemic is said and done, you will have leveled up against those who felt stuck and stayed stuck.
Here are five ways to utilize the ongoing pandemic to achieve success:
1. Analyze the Benefits of Remote Public Relations Jobs Working remotely is not ideal, and it is true that many companies have chosen to cancel their internship programs and get rid of a number of entry-level job positions. However, there is a large amount who have successfully transferred their programs to run remotely. Many of these programs are even offering resources, benefits and opportunities that were not available before. Don’t forget that when a position is remote, it doesn’t matter your location! If you’re a Long Beach local who has always dreamed of a position only offered in New York City, now is your chance to snag that position right from the comfort of your couch.
2. Take Advantage of Social Distancing
Continuing the topic of being comfortable on your couch, the world may be distanced physically, but electronically we are closer than ever before. A big advantage to this is that college students now have the opportunity to travel the globe from our homes. Universities and companies that hold popular panels and workshops are broadcasting online, giving students the opportunity to attend virtual events that were once a six-hour plane ride away. I am a student at CSULB but with a quick search of NYU’s public events calendar, I can learn from speakers located on the opposite coast.
3. Skip the Netflix, Revise Your Resume
One of the biggest changes the coronavirus pandemic has brought upon the professional world is the shift in first impressions. The reality is that our resumes and online profiles are going to serve as our first impressions to potential employers during this time. Lucky for us, the pandemic and stay at home orders have brought an abundance of free time. So it is important that some days we hold off on binge-watching another season of “Grey’s Anatomy,” and instead spend some time sprucing up our professional profiles. LinkedIn has become more important than ever before and there are countless small tips and tricks that can take your profile to the next level. Job positions are looking a little different right now, so it is important you are not applying yourself to a post-Covid job with a pre-Covid resume.
4. Learn a New Skill for the New Resume
The ongoing pandemic has changed the previous roles of a lot of jobs throughout almost every field of work. With a large shift to depending on technology and software, many professionals had to complete their tasks while simultaneously learning new programs and skills. We now have the opportunity to learn these skills before getting thrown into the job. So once again it’s important to dedicate some of that excess free time to applying ourselves to something productive. It also doesn’t hurt to use this time to finally practice or master a skill that you’ve been longing to get better at. When you’re bored, don’t forget that YouTube has tons of free educational content, not just David Dobrik vlogs!
5. Acknowledge your Adaptability
We experienced a shift in the world this year that most of us could have never imagined. We made the transition to online classes, which was a first for many, and we woke up each morning unsure what rule or regulation was going to be enforced or taken away. But I survived. And, if you are reading this, you survived! We adapted to an entirely new way of living. There are going to be those students that are forever resentful towards the way this global pandemic has changed lives, and then there are going to be those of us that will take advantage of the positives that resulted from our situation. We can learn any computer skill or program on any given day, but to be able to adapt to succeed in a situation this drastic is something not everybody can easily achieve.
We can apply the real-life skills we learned from this stage of our college experience to any future job, task or career, public relations related or not. If you can succeed through the wrath of COVID-19, you can succeed through anything. These are just a few tips on ways to make the most out of a global pandemic.
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