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Student Board Member Develops Slower, Quieter Personal Time During COVID-19

March 3, 2021

I’m closing this “mini-series” by reflecting upon how this pandemic year has deeply altered my personal life and connections with others. Things changed so suddenly in March 2020. I remember my sister coming down to Madison to visit me. We decided to get coffee on State Street at Colectivo. While we were in line, the barista let us know that they were closing…closing indefinitely. It has been close to a year since that day. There have been challenges, but we all know so much more than those initial weeks of uncertainty.

Now I almost exclusively make my coffee at home—and I’m really glad I invested in that Nespresso machine last March. I use curbside and delivery ten times more than I ever have, and my fiancé and I cook more than we ever did before. As I mentioned earlier in the series, COVID forced me to be adaptable and flexible, and I think those traits have been important at home and in all the things I do outside of work and school. I’ve been the student board member of the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries for a little over a year now, and it has been a great insight to see how quickly they’ve shifted and adapted to difficult times. I’ve tried to keep this mindset in the ALA-Student Chapter that I’m co-president of currently; it’s hard right now, but I’m counting on the longevity and “bounce back-edness” of future iSchool students.

Outside of school and jobs, I’ve worked on allowing myself to be flexible while also trying to create new routines at home. While most of my work is in-person now, when I do get home I love to sit down and eat dinner (or cook, depending on whose night it is to make supper) and play with my cat. I’ve been known to do a puzzle or two in my day, and I’ve also devoured a lot of new movies and TV shows. I had time to read a few new books over break, but now that I’m settling back into text overload with schoolwork, reading will take a back burner for a while. Most recently on my to-do list is to spend time searching for jobs, since I will be graduating this May. While it is often stressful, what I’ve found important to do amidst all the noise, is to go for a walk and to allow myself time to think and process. Even if it’s a short walk in these chilly winter months, it refreshes me both physically and mentally. Most of all, watching the world from my window this past year has taught me to find joy in simple things, and to appreciate my loved ones and their continued health. I wish the same for you and yours as well.

Signing off,

Anna Dinkel