Hi to All My Fellow Quaratiners!

by Nina Gildor

Firstly, Happy Passover!

I hope you all can spend this holiday with family, escaping even for a moment the crazy reality of the world to feel joy and love. I definitely recommend checking out the events offered by MEOR on meorpenn.tv.

It is incredibly important to take these moments of relief and hope now more than ever. Trapped in quarantine, it feels impossible to be motivated to do anything with the ambiguity of the future so large.

However, this unknown is the exact reason why we should be trying everything rather than doing nothing.

While trust me, I know the idea of infinite free time was quickly shattered once school started, as at least I quickly became overwhelmed with work. Yet, this new and bizarre situation is simply a unique challenge in time management. We still have the time to be active and learn like we did at school, so the first task is to simply find something you are passionate about and dive completely into it. In my opinion, the best way to search is to try absolutely everything and anything you can. This situation is in fact the perfect moment to jump into new activities you were afraid to commit to at school, and test what commitments were truly important to you.

Now that we are all scattered across the world, in different homes and different time zones, there are a million excuses available to avoid our responsibilities.

However, there is also a tremendously huge feeling of happiness when you overcome this temptation and strengthen your self-motivation. For me, I am in the second semester of the Maimonides program, which I absolutely loved at school. As soon as I got home, it initially felt like a daunting take to work it into my schedule with the time change, but after my first class, I instantly remembered exactly why I put everything aside to be there when I was at school, so why should that change now.

I have always been intrigued by Shabbat, and loved everything about it both figuratively and literally, yet I could never make it when I was on campus.

This unique situation also gives us the opportunity to find something new that is important to us. My

closest friend group at Penn is not Jewish, so I admit I gave in to the FOMO and refused to miss the plans they always had made for Friday nights. However, now that I am stuck at home with an open Friday night every week, I have the amazing chance to take full advantage of this situation, positively and actively improving myself even at home. I have made it a goal to learn one new thing about shabbat every Friday. For example, I love challah, so I decided to make homemade challah and then discuss the significance of challah and the traditions surrounding it.

The task of simply satisfying your curiosity is incredibly interesting and comes entirely from you. So don’t let being stuck in your home and the ambiguity of the world stop you from learning and finding happiness in your life!