What 2020 taught us

Like many people, I believed 2020 would be “my year”. Throughout elementary school, my friends and I brought up the year 2020 and talked about it as if it would be the best year of all. I think we can all agree that it was not the easiest year, and some might say it plain sucked. 

Although 2020 brought its challenges—and a lot of them—it also brought new hobbies, more immediate family time, A LOT of free time and certainly some lessons learned. One of the most obvious things I think we learned was that life can change in an instant. I don’t think anyone was expecting March 13 to be the start of nearly a year of masks and quarantining. However, if you are reading this—you got through 2020. Here are six things 2020 taught me. I hope you can relate to them and apply them in your 2021 as well. 

Don’t take the simple things in life for granted:

2020 took a lot of things away from us that we never even thought twice about before. Hugging your grandma, attending a sports game with friends, going to school, going to a concert or enjoying a meal at a restaurant with friends. These are things we took for granted and I don’t know about you, but I’m never hesitating to go out and do something with friends after this is over. 

Difficult times reveal the truth:

2020 was one of the most challenging periods of many of our lives. I think we all noticed who was there for us during quarantine and who our true friends were throughout the year. It was definitely harder to keep connections made in school over primarily social media. 

People are very resilient: 

One announcement that school was closing was enough to flip our lives upside down. Both teachers and students had to figure out how to navigate Zoom, participate in classes from their bedroom and miss out on countless memories made in the classroom and within sports teams. But, we pushed through. We log into Zoom calls every day, get our homework done and repeat. 

Always say “I love you” to your friends and family: 

If we learned anything from this pandemic it’s that life is short. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost from the Coronavirus and families have been apart for months. If someone told me I wouldn’t see my family for most of the rest of the year and even miss out on seeing everyone on Christmas, I wouldn’t have believed them. Saying “I love you” is priceless and seems to matter more now. 

Unity matters: 

2020 was not only a year of social distancing and masks but also one of so much division. This year we must make it a goal to be unifiers, not dividers because so many people are hurting. The cure isn’t anger, it’s love. 

Enjoy nature more:

I’m sure we all experienced family walks especially during the spring of 2020. I know I complained all the time when my family decided to walk for miles every day, but I can’t say I hated it because it was something to do to get out of my house. I also think that this summer I was most active and outside with friends than any other and I loved it. It’s important to get outside and get some fresh air instead of binging Netflix shows in your room all day.