By: Zachary Greenberg  | 

From the YSU President’s Desk: A Time To Be You

With the school closures on March 4 and 5 for both campuses, which eventually evolved into what will be at least a month-long break, many of us were left with a single question: Now what? As of this last week, classes have resumed, shiurim are thriving and Good Shtick! With Zack has given us some entertainment and the routine is slowly setting in. As the weeks ensue, I am confident that we will have mostly adapted, or at least gotten used to this newfound setting. However, lack of social interactions, minimal productivity and too much family time is really what might be bogging us down during this challenging period. I wanted to offer several suggestions which I hope may help you, dear readers.

On a personal level, be yourself. During school, I often find that it is hard for me to find time for doing what I enjoy due to so much else going on. Now, with all the extra down time, is the chance to work on the novel you’ve been wanting to write, watch TV shows and movies you’ve been putting off, read books you’ve wanted to read or listen to shiurim or podcasts that you enjoy. This is a great time to spend the next few weeks having fun and rediscovering your interests. 

Socially, it’s critical to stay in touch with your friends and role models. Reconnect with classmates you haven’t talked to in several weeks. Start group video chats with your friends. Join the whereverYUare Whatsapp group and tune in to online games and shows. Set up one on one time with teachers and rebbeim who you enjoy speaking with. In a time of much isolation, it is imperative to go above and beyond to speak with other people outside your household. At the same token, it is a great time to connect with your family. Setting up a weekly family movie night can be an amazing way to bond together. My family recently purchased a Roku, which has Disney+, Netflix and Hulu. That much content should cover us through the virus. 

Physically, get outside and exercise. I don’t care if you’re in shape or out of shape, everyone needs to be active. Whether that’s going on a run outside to get some fresh air, using the treadmill, the elliptical, weight lifting, Insanity with Shaun T or yoga, please do physical activities. We are indoors even more so than usual, and it is important both physically and mentally to stay healthy.

Academically, stay on top of your classes! School is still in session and staying focused is key. Financially, if you have extra cash, I’d recommend buying Disney (NYSE: DIS). As of now it’s around $90 — the lowest price in 5 years, due to their parks closures. With the new streaming service and the parks opening back up, it should easily regain its $130 within a few months after the virus.

Lastly, in terms of productivity, being action-oriented is the best way to feel productive. If you had a goal for a project that you wanted to complete, why not take the time to work on it. Maybe consider interning virtually. Start that blog you always wanted to do. Write that fantasy book you never had time to write. Start small, get started and see where it can take you. I had always wanted to start my own video channel, and Good Shtick! With Zack is turning out to be a very fun way for me to do so. I love sharing my thoughts, meeting new people, and doing good shtick, and this show encompasses all of that!

This can be a period of a lot of loneliness and frustration. However, it can also be a great opportunity for you to explore your true self. In a few years, many of us will have jobs and families to support and focusing on just you will be much harder. Now is the time to kick back, relax, learn something new and enjoy being you.