“The New Normal”

When I was thinking about this prompt, it was hard to look beyond “tomorrow” and what the semester has in store. Getting up each day feels like a new battle, so I have been trying to focus on small pockets of peace rather than think towards the future for comfort. I keep hearing the words “unprecedented times” in the news, media, social apps as if they are supposed to erase all this fear that exists within our communities. COVID has ruined the lives and livelihoods of my number of my closest friends and family. It has been difficult to look past the hardship, but I would say that this pandemic has made everyone feel a little more humane. In my classes, I feel that students are relying on each other for guidance and support more than ever. At my workplace (it’s a 4 person staff), everyone has decided to come into the office and socially distance just to feel like a team again. Small acts such as these motivate me to keep pushing, keep grinding, keep moving forward. 

“The new normal.” 

Working as a freelance journalist for the last couple of months, I have not reported on anything outside the realm of COVID. While it may get exhausting to relay such disheartening stories, the importance of the work does not escape me. I report for local newspapers, covering stories that otherwise go untold. This semester, I hope to continue working with these publications and reporting on local communities in Queens. This experience has been so rewarding, getting to know people in my neighborhood and hear what they have to say about COVID, labor, education, and more. At the same time, it has been challenging to manage school work, journalism, and extracurriculars. Interacting with professors virtually, submitting homework online, and attending lectures on Zoom has made daily life feel unreal, in a way. 

When I used to work as a Social Media intern for a non-profit organization, it was hard to feel like I was being productive because there was no physical evidence of my completed tasks – all of my responsibilities existed within the virtual universe. 

Now, with remote learning, it feels like a similar experience. 

I have to remind myself to move. 



Maybe I can inspire you: 

  • Summertime in Paris by JADEN
  • Communion: The Female Search for Love by bell hooks
  • I got a penny board 🙂 

Comments ( 3 )

  1. Lauren Melendez
    Hi Teresa, I enjoyed the advice you gave us all about enjoying small pockets of peace opposed to trying to look forward and possibly taking on too much for peace of mind and relief. It is a reminder for us all to take things one day at a time which we hope will lead us to change that is comforting to us all. I applaud you on the freelance journalist reporting you have been doing that is directly about your community in Queens! There is always so much taking place in the five boroughs that nobody talks about and never makes the national or even local news sometimes and it is very commendable for you to shed light on those stories, people and their issues. Thank you for the recommendation on the publication by Bell Hooks, I will be sure to check that one out!
  2. Malachi Davidson
    Hey Teresa, I really enjoyed reading your piece, in a way you reminded me that I'm not alone in my struggles of adjusting to this "new normal". P.S. Anyone that is a fan of Jaden Smith's music is automatically a friend of mine
  3. Kashema Hutchinson
    Hi Teresa I echo Lauren, this sentence gets it: "I have been trying to focus on small pockets of peace rather than think towards the future for comfort." Finding community, facing reality and just breathing can be such a balancing act at times. Your words capture that and I am glad that you are capturing stories that need to be told. And yes, you are an inspiration. Thank you.

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