The Power of Positivity — Where Can We Focus?

Laraya Billups, News Editor

Williamsburg, Va. – Challenging does not begin to describe the various obstacles that each one of us have endured this year. Many have lost hope for the year, opportunities and even loved ones. 

To those who have lost more than you gained this year, I want to extend my deepest condolences. I want you to know that you are not alone. 

It is important to approach these struggles of our Bridgewater College community by simply being understanding, especially when we are unaware of the battles people are fighting whether internally or externally.

I have been fighting a battle too — a battle of my focus. Each day, I find myself at a crossroads between focusing on what is going terribly wrong (which could be a long list) and what is going right (which is arguably shorter). Sometimes it is the virus. If it is not the virus, it is the countless changes on campus or simply what the future has in store for us. 

These are all valid things to worry about, the kinds of worries that can hinder us from participating in classes, interacting with our peers, or holding festivities to acknowledge an event that we look forward to celebrating each year.

This past weekend, (Oct. 24) was supposed to be homecoming at Bridgewater College. Not surprisingly, this year has made homecoming look different. 

Some of my fondest college memories have been at homecoming, lying on the Dillon Hall field at the bonfire with a hot chocolate in my hand watching the fireworks. 

This could be another downside to this year, especially for us seniors who could not celebrate it as usual for the last time, but I would argue that it is all about perspective. We could dwell on the fact that we did not celebrate altogether in a crowd or we could appreciate the meaningful moments we have gained as an Eagle.

For me, homecoming means celebrating who I have become as an Eagle and the people who have influenced me to grow past what I thought I could become — even in the midst of a pandemic. 

In my case, I value my friends who I facetime regularly and who always encourage me to keep moving forward. I value my professors who still believe in my mind even though my focus is cloudy. I value the power of connection even six feet apart.

Homecoming is not confined to a physical place or physical touch. It is the memories of connection and perseverance that bring us together. We celebrate it by continually showing up for each other and for ourselves — choosing to focus on the growth we are making.

At the beginning of the day, you have a choice of where you put your focus. It is tempting to choose the route of terrible news, but if you could choose one positive thing to guide your day, it makes all the difference.