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May 28, 2024
May 27, 2024

2020 A Year in Review


What can be learned and what can be left behind

If life is a movie then most people would say that 2020 was a bad time loop film. Quarantine had some months passing in the span of weeks while others stretched on for the entire year. While many may want to move past the turmoil and into a time of greater stability it is important to be able to learn from experiences even if they cause pain. This is a year that will go down in history for its tumultuous nature with a pandemic shutting the world down, a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and an election that all contributed to a growing divide in the country. The extreme polarization of America has led to violence and a lack of empathy for the people around you. 

So as the screen fades to black, what was there to learn in 2020?

People learned how to bake bread, that no, they don’t like their hair that way, or that whipped coffee is overrated. But more importantly, people learned to educate themselves on injustices, found new ways to express themselves, and had newfound time for introspection and self-reflection. 

Making the generalization that an entire year was horrible can cloud one’s ability to grow from their experiences. It’s a privilege to have made it to 2021 considering that thousands of people have died from COVID complications but it would be an even greater privilege to try to forget 2020. 

2020 was a bad year because of circumstances, yes, but it was also a bad year because people oftentimes forgot their humanity. It’s probably going to take longer than what would be deemed as convenient to remember it as well.

However, throughout the year some silver linings remained. Bearcats applied, and got in to college, ACT club cleaned up the beach, and the Advanced Drama class put on their first ever radio show of A Christmas Carol. Good things happen all the time as long as people are willing to pay attention to them.

It is when the negative feels like it outweighs the positive that entire years end up being labeled as cursed or unlucky. Bearcats felt the effects of isolation on their mental and physical health with 68.1 percent of students reporting a change in sleep, mood, exercise, appetite, motivation or energy level upon a first quarter reflection.

Freshman Kylee Dayton described her lowest point of 2020 by saying, “towards the middle of quarantine or the middle of the year because it was just repeating the same day over and over again.”

What is lost only outweighs what is gained when you let it.

Being able to adapt and overcome challenges is part of the reason humanity continues to be successful. The key to being able to adapt is the ability to learn from mistakes and hardships you face. 2020 was full of hardships and they will all be pointless if people, as a collective, don’t come together to build something out of them.

Division and separation tend to feel easier when the physical distance between people is greater, but this is just another obstacle. Currently, America is in a partisan era where you are either on one side or the other, instead of the nation uniting in order to face the problem at hand. Problems don’t get solved if both sides are too obstinate to look at things from a new perspective.

“What can each of do, specifically?” It’s not enough to say, “new year new me” in an Instagram post and expect the world to heal from the disparities that feel so rampant in present times. Change only happens if there are people brave enough to enact it.   

If 2020 were a movie, the end credits wouldn’t have rolled yet because it would be impossible to say that as the ball dropped on New Years Eve the story was over. So no, 2020 isn’t a bad time loop film or a disaster movie with a low budget. It’s just a year, like any other, where good and bad things happen that will eventually be looked at through the lense of your own individual memories instead of the entire world’s experience, because ultimately you are the main character of your own life. There is no genre that can encapsulate the years of experiences, thoughts, and emotions that have gone into who each individual person is. 2020 is just another thing that happened. Some of these milestones are bigger than others, but nothing is so big that it becomes the only milestone. 

Based on a staff-wide survey.
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