The Pivot: Staying Positive during the Pandemic
In the last edition of The Pivot, we showed how the Enderun students have been coping with the pandemic. The more personal and emotional side effects of this pandemic were shared from the students’ stories. A lot discussed the things they had to learn to overcome, the coping strategies they found the most effective, and the lessons they gained.
For the continuation of The Pivot, we will be delving into the last two of the four original prompts. These prompts are going to shift towards the student’s feelings about the state of the industry they aspire to be in and to end as well as talking about something positive in their lives during the quarantine.
While the pandemic’s effect on our personal lives is one of the first things discussed, a lot of students were also concerned and confused about the status of their dream industry. Many of us are going to school and are learning things based on a time that does not really exist now. Most of us have to adjust to the “new normal” version of our industry. Realizing that can be disheartening, but letting them reflect on this may make them realize not all hope is lost.
Quite a few of the students wanted to express that they felt their industry was going to need to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic.
“Food will always have demand. However, the way people eat, the way we serve food has now changed. We can’t have customers eat dinner for 2-3 hours. They would rather eat at home now. I have dreamed of opening a nice restaurant, but now it would have to fit the new preferences. ”
-SK, BS-IHM CA, Senior
“[With the new normal, it will take] a greater effort to comply with different standards.”
-Shitake, BS-IHM CA, Junior
Others took this question as a chance to share their own reflections and ways they have thought they could prepare themselves once they are part of their industry.
“The pandemic made me realize that complacency and mediocrity have no room for the industry I hope to be in after college. Just because an individual has a stable income or successful business now, does not mean that the job or company will stay that way especially with all these threats. A good business person has to innovate all the time, even in the smallest way possible because it will still make a difference.”
-YC, BSBA-OM, Sophomore
“The food industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic this year which resulted in the closure of most restaurants globally. [Because] there were fewer dine-in guests, more [guests opted for] take-out and delivery to avoid the risk of them being exposed. Due to this, it affected my views on this kind of industry that I hoped to work in after I finish college because there will be more things to consider first before getting a job. Some of these considerations include: I must first be aware of the status of the place where I plan to work if it is safe or not against COVID-19 and I must be healthy enough to prevent me from catching the virus instantly.”
-Elizia Marie Butardo, BS-IHM CA, Junior
“The pandemic has affected my views on the industry I aspire to work in after college as these experiences planted a lot of uncertainty not just to myself but in the industry as well. This whole situation made me realize that change is inevitable and I should be resilient to changes as the industry I know now might not be the industry a few years from now.”
-Kate Vidad, BS-Arch, Freshman
“Due to the increase of technology lifestyle this pandemic (like online shopping, delivery, online banking, and the use of video call platforms for meetings), I realized that I should start exploring and researching about careers that are related to technology industry because if it’s booming right now, what more in the future? It created a mindset that I should engage myself in the “digital reality” — that technology is not just an optional job for us. We should start considering it as our main career in the future as the world is evolving rapidly. For example, before we studied that oil is the most valuable asset in the whole world, but now it was overthrown by data.”
-Anonymous, ABM, SHS
A few students wanted to open up about the worries they have and reconciling the fact that their industry, like most, is now harder to work in.
“The industry that I’m hoping to work in is technology and if possible, the entertainment industry in another country. These industries have taken a beating because of the pandemic and I feel that it will be harder to get a job in these industries for the next few years, but I am fairly positive that in the long run, it will be possible to get a job there in the future.”
-Andres C. Fernandez III, BSBA-TM, Junior
“The industry just got tougher. Before it was already a tough “playground” but circumstances were not difficult. Now, it seems that the “playground” only allows the toughest people to play and survive.”
-GAS, BS-IHM CA, Junior
“As an Entrepreneurship student, I find it hard to create a business because every single plan I’ve had in mind [I have] had to change because it has to adapt to the current situation we are in now.”
-AMLP, BSE, Senior
Others wanted to say praises for their industry because of how they were able to push through the setbacks, stay afloat despite the challenges, all while pushing to keep everyone safe.
“The pandemic is eating the finance industry alive, which is the primary place I wanted to spend the first few joyous years of my post-college life. It’s my professional fantasy. Seeing that most leaders in that industry are gently pulling out makes me worried because I keep on thinking about how the pandemic is some sort of reset.
Moving on, months and months at home has shaped me into this person who semi-enjoys business columns. A lot of the authors say the exact same thing: ‘everything’s on fire, it’s bad, and it is going to get worse’. But despite that, I still have full confidence that the finance industry will soon bounce back. Humans are innovative and persistent so I’m sure that at one point, someone will come along to save the entire human race. For now, I’m just looking at it as a setback.”
-AR, BS-ECO, Junior
“Ever since the lockdown, restaurants were obligated to cut down and even postpone operations leaving some to operate for takeout or delivery only. However, I believe that the Culinary Arts field is flexible and resilient. Restaurants and other enterprises under the industry are now slowly getting back on their feet and adjusting to the challenges brought about by COVID-19. These adjustments will positively impact businesses once we are back to normal as they have now widened their reach.
-Noella Cuevo, BS-IHM CA, Sophomore
“I find the marketing industry to be very admirable as I have seen content that showed their flexibility towards a face-to-face approach to an online one. With these content, they remain successful despite the new normal. The marketing industry has always been impressive for me, but during this particular time, I’m more impressed than ever. They work and provide content as if no pandemic has ever affected their brainstorming of ideas.”
-Chaela Nuñez, BSBA-MM, Junior
And lastly, the students explained that despite all the setbacks, this pandemic has made them even more determined to work in their respective fields.
“Stronger than ever. I have seen how injustice itself is present in our justice system which makes me strive harder to become an upholder of the law.”
-DMM, ABM, SHS
“Having to live through a global pandemic, as tragic as it may be, has helped us become better-equipped individuals that are yet to take part in the industry because we know how to keep the industry alive and remain standing amidst a global pandemic. I feel prepared and eager to take part in the H&T industry especially during the time where the world is a safe place again to travel and explore.”
-Rednas Setneuf, BS-IHM HA, Sophomore
After discussing the ups and downs of this pandemic and being open about the many opportunities everyone missed because of lockdown, there was a need to end on something positive. Many of us have found those people or things that have made this experience more bearable. Oftentimes, written descriptions may not be enough to encapsulate how these people, places, things made them feel. So naturally, a photo that has been known to be “worth a thousand words” was perfect to show that despite all the bad, there is also so much good.
The photos shared varied from food to cars to even the coziness of their bed with captions to symbolize this is their time to relax.
Others shared photos of the nature around them, from plants to a river, and even the sky.
Others found positivity in catching up to their friends or opening into their own online business.
Photos of the colorful and peaceful scenery from the student’s hometowns were also sent in.
Some students also decided to use a photo to convey how they felt at the moment, from being okay to being hopeful.
Lastly, the students shared photos of their furry friends as their source of comfort during the quarantine.
In summary, the feelings conveyed in the students’ stories have been a mixture of good and bad. With the one year anniversary since the lockdown coming closer, it is understandable that many people have hit their breaking point whilst in lockdown. From missing social interaction with peers to missing face-to-face classes, it is no surprise that everyone has felt exhausted and stressed. At times, these emotions can be overwhelming and make it harder to stay hopeful. But with all the stress and misfortunes the last year has brought us, we can at least agree that so much good has come forth as well. Albeit, in different ways.
Many students have found solace in their friends, family, and pets, others have found hobbies like gardening or cooking to fill the time, and some have opened their own online businesses. These people and things may seem small compared to the pandemic, but it’s in these milestones and moments that have made the months spent in quarantine become more bearable. It is also in the stories that get shared with one another that lessens that feeling of isolation. The acknowledgment that we are not alone in our experience reminds us that while we are not together physically, we are all still connected.
And while we do not know when we will be able to go outside safely, we can at least say we did our best to stay positive even during these difficult times.