Writing

All written submissions including journals, stories, essays, and creative writing.

No jobs, just macaroni and some laughs

girl skateboarding in parking lot

Submitted by

Dani Evstratenko

Description

This is a simple video I made while filming myself during the first weeks of COVID — when school was canceled, the uncertainty about life and jobs, how are we going to finish our last work-term if we don’t have work? Where do I get money from? As an international student who came here alone, it was a difficult time to cope with life as you can really feel the difference between people who have support and shelter when things are bad, to those who don’t have that privilege; who don’t have support from the government, from family, or from their home country government. You can definitely feel hopeless.

This video is just a reminder to myself and others that by doing simple things and keeping busy cooking or going on a walk, even when times are rough is so important for your mental health.

Overcoming Social Obstacles

Covid-19 has affected social interaction like never before, however, technology has allowed us to find innovative ways to virtually hang out with others that from my perspective, it has actually increased social interaction among various people around the world.

Before covid a lot more people were uncomfortable with video calls but it seems like covid has forced us all into using that form of communication more regularly. With screen sharing you can almost do anything in a video call that can be done in a person to person meeting. Video calls are innovative because location is no longer a barrier to connection. Despite having video calling around for a long time, it’s never been used as a main form of communication like it is being used now due to Covid.

People are connecting over social media in ways that were never as common up until covid. More and more people are using online servers to play virtual games of cards against humanity, meet up and dance together, watch movies together, do art together, the list goes on. Gaming has always been a way for people to hang out with each other without really being together but the influx of people doing it has increased so much and it has expanded past the gaming world and become wildly popular since covid.

Outside of virtual interactions, I have seen people meeting in parks, lots, driveways and yards all while maintaining social distancing. I have a feeling that it is going to stick around after covid, it’s a good reason to get outside and enjoy some different scenery. Covid-19 has caused lots of struggles to our social lives but it’s been very interesting to see how people are adapting and overcoming the barriers to connection.

Submitted by

Aurelia Archibald

A Little Fun?

girl in grad blue dress

Submitted by

Kayla Chouinard

Description

During this time I have been able to see lots of exciting life changing things be taken from people. Watching my fellow class mates having to postpone grad things, or not being able to celebrate to the full extent they deserve would be hard. During this summer I have had to great opportunity to take graduation photos for the high school graduating class of 2020. All of them were extremely apperceive for the photos, but the reality is they did not get the high school graduating experience I had in 2017. It is sad because those are the full engraved memories I still have to this day when I think about ‘High School’. It crazy to think that they do not get to have the experience of ‘Grad Week’ or walking down the aisle to accept their diploma. I feel for these individuals. Something that was suppose to be celebrated was not. Every single grad I had shot was so extremely grateful during this time and it truly made me so happy. Wish we could have done more for the Graduating classes of 2020! I feel for you guys and wish this was was not the circumstance, you deserve better!

New Beginnings

This year has to be the most challenging year I have ever experienced. Not only have all the events been canceled, but it has been harder to see friends and family. Work term this year was very rough for me, and going back to school next year is going to be interesting. We will not have the ability to see our friends in the classroom nor be able to feed off of a creative environment. Instead, we will be stuck in our homes, trying to figure things out ourselves mainly.

Not all is bad, though, as I have learned a lot about myself and what I want to achieve in life during this pandemic. Work term took a weird turn, and it has felt uninspiring for me. To get inspired again, I had to go out and just make things happen. Within a week, I applied for my business license and got all of the hosting, emails, and website wireframing done and sorted. I learned that to do the jobs I want to do, the stuff that will bring me joy, I have to go out and get it. If it weren’t for this pandemic, I wouldn’t have been able to confirm this feeling. I would be working in another city for someone else, and quite honestly, I would have disliked it. Yes, everything got canceled, and it sucks, but thanks to the pandemic, I was able to focus on what my goals were and start pushing myself in the right direction to achieve those goals. If it weren’t for this pandemic, I would not have pushed myself in this direction. It allowed me to slow down for once, and for that, I am thankful.

Submitted by

Tyrel Anderson

Finding the Good in a Bad Situation

Things did not go to plan as I’m sure most of us had to deal with many challenges in life that we are not used to. Before covid, I was prepared to move to do my work term in Saskatoon for “Tweak Designs & Signs”. But when all of this suddenly hit, I had no idea what my summer was going to look like as I prepared to stay home. I had always viewed myself as a self-motivated and independent person, but, as months dragged on and the end of COVID became lost in sight, I saw myself beginning to lose my fire and willpower that I started the year with and spent so long trying to build up. Trying to juggle a part-time job, work term and life, in general, has made me fear and anticipate burnout. But, when I got lined up to work with the Medicine Hat Local Immigration Partnership, I began to see my motivation rise. Luckily, I have been put in a position this work term with a wonderful client that has been a pleasure to work with. Although working from home has not been the easiest, I have been pushing through to try and make the best out of this unideal situation.

Submitted by

Lauren Friesen

Making Changes

This time in isolation has proved to be very difficult on myself and my family. I’m no stranger to struggles with mental health, but all the time alone and the major life changes made it even harder for a while. I struggled a lot with motivation and keeping focus on what needed to be done. I was second guessing myself and my work and never really felt what I was doing was good enough. I used to rely on the support of my peers to get through these negative thoughts and not being able to really had an effect on me.

I did find that I had a lot of time for self reflection. I picked up hobbies that I hadn’t practiced in awhile and I thought a lot about my future, which are both things I used to put off. I discovered more about what makes me happy and what doesn’t. And I feel motivated now more than ever to make changes in my life that I’d been too afraid to make.

Submitted by

Brooklyn Schnor

Capturing the Moment

girl kneeling with fist in the air with a rally of people in front of her

Like everyone else, this year wasn’t a good year for me. I feel my mental health degrading, and it’s terrifying me since the pandemic started.

It was difficult to ignore some of the disappointment of being away from family and not having fun with friends as usual during this hard time. Because this year will be remembered forever, I thought maybe it a good idea to go out and capture people’s memories during the epidemic. This picture was one of many photos I shot at the Black Lives Matter rally in Medicine Hat. This one is my favourite photo because it shows how people support each other even in this challenging time.

Submitted by

Mohammed Adan

Fear or Faith?

When the pandemic first hit Canada, I am not going to lie, it seemed so surreal. It was like there were two worlds, the online world telling us about the pandemic and a world with no one around in view. I remember reading articles online wondering if life would ever get back to normal. I remember feeling regrets not visiting friends or family as much as I should have. This COVID-19 pandemic has opened my eyes to the blessings in this life that I take for granted every day. Being able to go to functions, parties, family gatherings, etc. It is one of the hardest things wondering when will life change back so you see those you love. You tend to wonder what will our society as a whole be allowed to do and what won’t we be allowed to do? I remember as a kid growing up in the ’90s, having a childhood where I enjoyed being a kid. Now, I wonder if I should even have children due to what they may face in the future? When this first happened, I remembered almost being paralyzed with fear. It got to a point where I had extreme anxiety about the whole situation and the future of our world. However, I realized God is in control and I need to put all my worries and fears in his hands. Somehow he uses the hard times for good and grows us. How do I know this? I have seen this in my life time and time again, after making countless mistakes. Looking back, he used all my failures, setbacks, and trials to grow me stronger and wiser. My point is through this fear, I know that I can’t control everything that is going on in the world, but I know in my heart that he will give me the strength to endure through all past and present trials that may or may not come.

Submitted by

Tana Campbell

Directionally Challenged

a collage of different arrows and floor decals from COVID-19

I started taking photographs of floor decals showing direction of traffic and social distancing protocols different businesses in Medicine Hat implemented due to COVID-19. As a designer, I am naturally interested in the different solutions that appeared, from simple arrows created from tape to clever phrases and design.

As time went on, I started to think of these arrows as analogous to my experience during COVID. Normally, I am quite directionally challenged; I struggle getting around the place I have lived my whole life. During the pandemic, that extended beyond whether to turn left or right at an intersection. The acts of walking down the grocery store aisle the wrong way and not having motivation to work on projects felt one in the same, after my original plans and aspiration got turned upside down due to COVID-19.

After a few dismal months living in a world that felt so foreign and bleak, I am finding my way again, even if it sometimes means being okay with walking in the wrong direction. I am learning that detours and alternate routes can lead to unexpected treasures, and that being directionally challenged is okay, as long as I remains determined to keep moving forward.

Submitted by

Sierra Zukowski

Blessings In Disguise

Photo of light coming through a window with plants on the sill

In many ways, through my own experience, COVID has turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise. The initial stages left me in an unsettling state of uncertainty where all initial plans got torn right out from under me. Six months ago I believed i was going to be fulfilling my art and design work term working in Whistler B.C as a photographer for an eco tour company. I had my deposit down on a house rental, my things were packed as spring started to approach, my notice was given at work& I was fully committed and ready to begin a new journey. It didn’t take very long before everything I had planned and intended for came to a quick halt. Initially I was very upset that all my time, energy& plans were taken from me& I faced a lot of challenges having to adapt to the curve balls that life threw all of our ways. But what started off as a huge disappointment led me to where I am now—living in Nelson B.C, fulfilling my work term hours through commissioned art works…still experiencing a new adventure Just in an entirely different way. It’s interesting how often times when we ask or intend for something they show up in other unexpected ways… I guess this whole experience has proven to me that faith and good intention can go a long ways. I see this demonstrated in communities all over where all sorts of local businesses, teachers, essential workers, students, and people come together to build and support one another during difficult times. As challenging as all has been, I do feel very grateful for where I have arrived in my life and to see all of the perseverance & support that has been offered and created in so many beautiful ways.

Submitted by

Shyanne Summers