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The Lessons That I Didn’t Learn at School

May 1, 2020
by Hunter Soll


I never thought the day would come where I would be writing for Oral Health, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. My name is Hunter Soll, daughter of co-chairman of the editorial board of Oral Health, Dr. Jordan Soll. There are many differences between me and my father, one of them being that I’ll never have DDS on the end of my name.

Four years ago, I was accepted to Queen’s University to join their Class of 2020. However, on the bottom of my admission email, there was no fine print that said, “Time at Queen’s may be cut short due to a pandemic”. Instead of spending the last 4 years at Queen’s, it’s really been 3.75. I didn’t get to spend the final 3 weeks with my friends going out and relishing the last moments of our time together, instead knowing that my last class really was my last class. I quickly packed my bags to hurry out of there, and subsequently found out that my convocation has since been delayed indefinitely. No longer am I part of the Class of 2020, but rather, I’m now known as part of the ‘Class of COVID-19’. As awful as all of this may sound, I’ve taken this entire experience as a learning opportunity. You know what they say; when life gives you lemons, add some club soda and vodka and you got yourself a cocktail! I know that when the world begins to return to the way we remember it, I will take away the following lessons;

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Lesson #1 – Our Actions Impact Others: My classes were cancelled because Queen’s was scared of having large lectures become a breeding ground for the spread of COVID-19, but it goes so much farther than that. We are all connected one way or another, and something that may affect one person can have an effect on another person. Regardless if it is
practicing social distancing, or something else, remember that your actions have consequences.

Lesson #2 – We Are All Equal: Truth be told, I, like many of my peers, thought that COVID-19 wasn’t going to come to Canada, and it certainly wasn’t going to affect me. However, (and this may be my Generation Z mindset talking) when Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were diagnosed and the NBA cancelled its season all in the span of an hour, I realized that we are all equal. Regardless of our financial situation, race, gender, religion or status, this disease has treated us all equally. Maybe we should treat one another equally as well.

Lesson #3 – Take a Chill Pill: I understand that it is incredibly difficult to relax, especially during a global pandemic, but one good thing about being holed up inside of your house, is that you can finally just relax and slow down. Too often, we are going like the Energizer bunny. Now, we have nowhere to go, and there’s something kind of beautiful about just relaxing and giving yourself time to breathe.

Lesson #4 – Give Gratitude: As hard as it might be for some people to stay inside 24/7, realize how lucky you are to have a home to be quarantined in. Sure, your hands might be getting red and rough from the countless handwashing, but that means you are lucky enough to have running water in your home. When it is so easy to find the negative in a situation, make sure you can find the positive and be grateful.(see life giving you lemons).

Whether you’re at the end of your career or just starting out, a dentist or a lawyer, these lessons are all something that we can take and put towards our professional and personal lives going forward. Stay healthy, be safe, and until we can go outside again, I’ll send you the link to my graduation ceremony on Zoom.


About the Authors

Hunter Soll is graduating from Queen’s University with a BA(Hon.) in Sociology, and will be attending Ryerson University in Fall 2020 in the Master of Professional Communication program. She is a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award recipient and a second degree black belt. Hunter is a Pop Culture and Lifestyle Writer for mytherapistsays.ca.

 

Dr. Jordan Soll is a Toronto based general practioner and Co chairman of the editorial board of Oral Health Journal.


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