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Sam Gomez

Sam Gomez

Senior practices gratitude and optimism to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic

Senior Sam Gomez felt like a fish out of water when quarantine first began on March 13. While he normally enjoyed a very active lifestyle, with most of his time either spent outdoors or participating in drama productions at Paso Robles High School, the California stay at home order meant a drastic change in Gomez’ routine that propelled a positive change in his perspective.  

Gomez was off hiking or rock climbing on most days, and the time he didn’t spend outdoors was dedicated to reading scripts and memorizing lines for his school’s next drama production. Beginning with “The Sound of Music” his freshman year, Gomez has played a part in “Puffs,” “Curtains,” “Willy Wonka,” “Walk Two Moons,” and a future role in the upcoming radio production of “A Christmas Carol” playing the main role of Ebonezer Scrooge. COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the Spring 2020 production of “Mama Mia”; without the ability to leave home and with no new role to sink his teeth into, boredom and restlessness ensued. 

Isolated and Idle

Before he began working at Taste Craft Eatery in San Luis Obispo in July, which was a welcome opportunity for Gomez to get busy and be social,  there was a three week period of isolation at home that was completely alien to Gomez. Ultimately,  the physical and mental stimulation that was present in his usual outdoor ventures was now absent, and that meant a decline in his mood. 

In that period of time, I hardly left the house, and being on my phone all day put me in a really bad mood. At that point, I knew I had to prioritize my own mental health a bit and get out of the house somehow, as well as find a way to be grateful in such a difficult situation

Sam Gomez

Sam Gomez on an outdoor adventure at Sequoia National Park, gazing over a cliff edge.

A Changed Perspective 

Though COVID brought strife to Gomez in altering his routine and confining him to his home, the unfortunate circumstances of living through a pandemic and the grim reality of being separated from the hobbies he enjoyed allowed Gomez to adopt a more grateful outlook on life. 

“I’m no longer taking anything for granted. Finding out how to be grateful has been a good shift in perspective, and I feel I’ve grown a lot as a person over these past months. I’m more happy with my outlook on life and I’m more appreciative of what’s going right in the midst of so much going wrong,” Gomez concluded. 

 

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