Titles don’t define you. Things you do every day don’t define you. Awards and ceremonies don’t define you. These things may help show who you are as a person, but it doesn’t lessen you as a person if you don’t have or accomplish those things.

Like many recently, I have had to come to terms with these facts. Because of the coronavirus, my senior year of college ended early in a way. I am still finishing classes online, but so much is just… gone.

COVID-19. I’m sick of hearing about it. But the impact on me pales in comparison to what it’s doing to so many lives. It is serious. It is harmful. It is destructive. I know I am not the only one feeling as though I have lost something important.

For some, confidence is lost. For some, a job is halted and health care in question. Others may feel as though some of their identity has been lost.

We look forward to how much better things will be when this virus is stopped in its tracks, when we have a better way to fight it. That doesn’t make today feel any better, though.

Luckily, according to health officials, I have no need to worry about the physical aspects of the virus. I am young and healthy. For me, there is a different feeling: A kind of loss of identity.

Over the last four years, I never really thought too hard about what my last semester would be like and what graduation would feel like. I just naturally assumed that I would see the results of the goals I worked so hard for. Why would anything change that?

Until now, I didn’t realize that most college students gain much of their identity from what they do and what they receive while they work their way through college life. Children turn into adults at college. I know I did.

I know what I’ve lost seems trivial compared to what this virus has done to so many other lives. Yet, through all of this, I have learned an important lesson. All the things that have suddenly halted in our lives and all the things we have lost and may never get back; they don’t define us. Like everyone else, I will persevere, and God will continue to guide me and us.

Please keep this in mind as you are dealing with whatever hardship this virus has thrown at you. While it may give you a temporary sense of loss and may feel overwhelming, you will get through, and you’ll be a better person for it. Let go of these lost aspects of your life, and remember as you move forward, they don’t define you.

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