It Is What It Is

A boy and a girl stand on a hiking trail smiling, surrounded by green trees

By: Jay Gallagher


Maybe you were intrigued by the title to read my story. If you were my kids, you would roll your eyes because that phrase ranks up there with “because I said so” in my house. Since March 17th, that has been my answer to almost everything COVID-19 related; it is what it is. I’m going to assume that we’re all working under the same premise, that COVID sucks, and has caused challenges in our lives, and that we all want to return to “normal.” I did forget to mention one thing, though. “It is what it is” is always followed by “but we’re going to make the best of it.” I am not a yell at the rain type of person; I am going to find a workaround to make the best of any situation.  


My kids are 12 and 10, so while we were home I would ask “what are you going to do to make the situation better?” Their initial answer was play video games and watch tv, of course. I challenged them to try to learn something new. My son taught himself to string a lacrosse head, and my daughter made string bracelets and tried to learn french. We read, we exercised, they figured out ways to interact with their friends on opposite sides of the street. Was it easy? No. Were there times we wanted to walk outside and scream? Sure, but what good is that going to do any of us?  


That brings us to today, on the cusp of the start of the Fall semester. Let’s start with this premise: Campus Recreation is not going to look like what it did on August 24, 2019. Listen, it is what it is. I’ve played, officiated, and coached sports my entire life. Every game has a set of rules that you have to play by, no matter if you agree with or like all the rules In this game, the rules have changed. We’re playing with our strong hand tied behind our back. However, I am fortunate to play on an awesome team with some of the best players out there! I’m not tooting our horn or anything. I know for the last 5 months this team has been working hard to make sure Campus Recreation is ready for “opening day.”   


Our normal sense of “normal” is not going to walk through the door right now, so what are you going to do? Yell at the rain, or make an attempt together with us to make the best of it and explore new offerings? Remember that team I was talking about? They’ve been working to create a “current version” of Campus Recreation. It's not better, it's not worse; it is what it is today. One thing COVID-19 has taught me is you never know what tomorrow will be, so be excited about the opportunity it brings. So, why not try playing in an Intramural Esports league this semester? We’ve got virtual group fitness classes that you can take in the privacy of your apartment in your pajamas with mismatched socks. Learn a new activity or participate in one of our challenges. Remember, it is what it is, so how are you going to make the best of it?


It has been about 175 days since we closed our doors. We’ve missed you as much as you’ve missed us. Welcome to the Fall 2020 semester, Temple Owls. We are so excited to have you back!