Hurricane Michael proves beneficial

Jina Gilliam
Photo submitted by Jina Gilliam

For most people who have ever experienced a hurricane, what I’m about to say may come as a bit of a shock. However I am truly grateful for the category 4 hurricane that made its presence known to most of the gulf coast two weeks ago.

Aside from the additional Homecoming recovery period Hurricane Michael provided, I can’t help but acknowledge the other perks he brought.

When I first received word there was a tropical storm warning, like most Floridians, I imagined a lot of rain but ultimately a quiet night to myself to do whatever I pleased.

Let me start by saying I can be a professional procrastinator at times. So, I admit, it was a little irresponsible to have not prepared for a natural disaster, especially one that would eventually put our area in a state of emergency, but you live and you learn. Due to my lack of preparedness, I was forced to make due with the little provisions I had.

Tallahassee’s above ground electrical system was virtually no match for Michael’s strong winds, leading to the city’s lack of power.

Luckily, thanks to a recent Youtube home décor haul marathon, I had a few battery powered string lights on hand and decorative candles. I used candles to warm up a can of soup out of desperation after several days of no electricity. I learned I’m more resourceful than I thought and I can indeed live without wifi, television and other niceties provided by electricity.

Out of sheer boredom I decided to get a jump on my school work. Ironically one of the things on my to-do list was to read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. The title alone motivated me to want to be productive. I finished that book within three days. I was able to knock out a few essays because I wasn’t consumed by normal distractions like social media and cell phones.

Michael also forced me to interact with my roommates whom I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know until the end of the semester because we’re all introverts.

Jina Gilliam
Photo submitted by Jina Gilliam

Misery loves company, and lack of air conditioning and things to do in the dark pushes you out of your comfort zone. We were forced to make supply runs together in a search for electricity to charge our phones, non-perishable food that could be warmed by candles, gas and ice.

We played Uno and Taboo by the candle light and ultimately had a bonding experience that brought us closer.

Ultimately, I am appreciative that mother nature has a way of making you stop and smell the roses even when you don’t want to. The saying you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone, like hot water, air conditioning and electricity, could not be more true.