The “Hello From The Other Side” blog series was launched in response to COVID-19 to share what young professionals think and feel about the changes happening in our community, and how they are finding ways to navigate those changes. We hope that these stories give you insight, hope, encouragement and community as we move forward, together. If you are interested in sharing your own story, please contact us here.
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What’s your name, your involvement with AYC?
Kelsey Hitchingham, Board Member and Chair of the Economic Development Committee
How are you? Give us three words to describe your current state of mind.
Committed, concerned, a little snacky
Are you currently working/WFH? How does your work day look different than it used to?
I’ve been WFH for several years, so this is not a huge disruption to my usual day to day, per se. I am a little more unfocused than I’d like to be, however.
How has your industry or position changed as a result of COVID-19?
I work with nonprofits. It has caused a huge disruption in fundraising efforts; many in-person fundraisers have been cancelled or postponed, resources are being diverted from once-secure funding sources to critical operations, and we are bracing for a serious economic downturn that will cut into individual donations.
What are you most afraid of right now?
The health of my friends and family, my own health, and potential income disruptions
What are you most optimistic about right now?
Using this period to bring in much more compassion in my life, letting go of the anxiety of having to always be on the go in Austin, and how I can create opportunity in my field to uphold prosperity.
What is keeping you sane right now?
Are you finding balance in your new daily routine? If yes, what does that look like?
I am dedicated to maintaining my routine: waking up at the same time, working out, eating normally, and resting at appropriate times. I am actually a LOT more social than I used to be; as an introvert I found it difficult to go to all the happy hours/meetups/coffees I was invited to since I don’t like to leave the house, but moving everything to Zoom has been a real godsend
Do you find that you have more or less free time right now? Describe.
The same, but I am using it in different ways. Before, I used to unwind by zoning out in front of Netflix, and now I FaceTime people or clean.
What are some of your favorite blogs, books or podcasts right now?
Honestly I haven’t plugged into a lot of pop culture right now. Facebook is about all of it at the moment.
Have you come across any great online resources we should know about? If so, what are they?
Omg there are so many.
What are some examples of community coming together that have inspired you or given you the warm fuzzies?
All of the Facebook groups popping up to share resources, and the Giveback Initiative I started with a colleague to raise money to get out of work individuals projects to help nonprofits
What is the first thing you will do once the lockdown has been lifted?
Go to the gym
What advice do you have for other young professionals in Central Texas who are feeling scared, isolated, and anxious about the future?
Focus on the things in front of you that you can control. Are you safe? Are you healthy? How can you use this time to grow? Don’t get caught up in what you can’t control and limit your exposure to the bad news.