By Ashani Williams || Layout Assistant

“Sunny Days, everybody loves them but tell me baby Can You Stand the Rain?”

 In the hit song, “Can You Stand the Rain,” the R&B group, New Edition, expresses the strength required in overcoming hardship. Hardship is no unfamiliar term considering the past year we’ve had. It is no secret that the pandemic has affected the nation, and the world at large immensely. When you combine the constant battle against oppression in marginalized communities, with the cold dreary weather, isolation amid a pandemic seems dreadful and everlasting. As we continue to live our lives virtually through a computer screen, the same monotonous 24 hours seem to repeat. But we continue to stay strong and persist, and “stand the rain,” even when our mental health seems to be constantly at stake

But this taxing feeling isn’t forever. A few weeks ago, I noticed a dramatic shift. As the number of layers I needed to be comfortable outside began to dwindle, my mood began to flourish. Personally, I can say since the days have been warmer, my energy has sparked dramatically. I start my days at six in the morning, and I am almost never in my room! Now, I’m no scientist but as soon as the sunnier days arrived, I think the mood of the campus quickly shifted. This warmer weather has worked as a sign of hope, the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Spring semester on F&M’s campus has always been my favorite; there’s nothing better than walking on Hartman and seeing your favorite group of people, all in one circle, bright and laughing. Or walking on the quad and greeting what feels like a million people because everywhere you turn you spot another friend. Spring obviously has a slight twist this year with all the COVID-19 regulations, but nevertheless has continued to bring a sense of normalcy during this uncertain time.

 I seem to be more motivated and hopeful for what the next 24 hours will bring. My friends and I now go on three mile runs on nearby trails, which if you had asked me a month ago, would not have happened. Seeing the newly bloomed flowers on my way to class brightens my day. Spring typically serves as a mood booster for most people, but this year, more than ever, it has brought with it essential reminders: A reminder to be present. A reminder to love. A reminder that there is a reason for gratitude. A reminder that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. A reminder to choose happiness.

Junior Ashani Williams is a layout assistant. Her email is