Putting a positive spin on challenging times.

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Kayleigh Garrison

Editor’s note: This story is part of  Coping with COVID-19, a series of brief looks at people in a pandemic. 

By Morgan Duerden

Kayleigh Garrison, a Michigan State University student, has returned to her hometown of Jackson.

Though her senior year did not end how she planned, she is making the most of the new found time.

“I’m really grateful I can spend this time at home because I’m a graduating senior and I know the days of living at home and spending this much time with my family and pets is limited,” Garrison said.

Garrison’s mom is a respiratory care technician and her dad is a youth specialist and social worker. Both are essential workers.

Kayleigh Garrison

“It’s really scary knowing my mom works at the hospital and could get exposed, but I’ve been staying positive by realizing how lucky we are that both of my parents are still employed and we’re all still healthy,” Garrison said.

She takes her dog on walks. “I’m reading for fun which I haven’t done since I was a kid,” she said.

Zoom meetings for classes helped keep her busy, but a big lesson has come from outside the classroom.

“I’ve learned how important the little things in life are,” Garrison said. “Since the stay-at-home order started, I’ve realized that all of the problems I thought I had, like stress, finances, even failing an exam, are nothing.

“What’s really important are my family, friends and our health.”

She and her mother are re-watching The Vampire Diaries. She also watches live concerts on Instagram: One Republic and Miley Cyrus are among her favorites.

“I’m probably going to start looking for a job towards the end of the summer,” Garrison said. “I can’t wait to get back out into the world. I love traveling and it’s one of the first things I’m going to do after all this is over.”

Her advice?

“This pandemic is affecting everyone and we’re all fighting our own battles. Being kind to people can make a world of a difference.”

See the series: Coping with COVID-19

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