We all know 2020 as a collective was trash, we all thought the world would end in 2012 but in 2020 it actually felt like it was ending most of the time. So, yes it was terrible and stressful, but we have not put up with all of this crap to learn nothing from it.
I firmly believe that you can learn from any situation, good or bad. Heres personally what I learned in 2020.
1. You never know what is going to be a big deal or not.
I remember back in March, right before spring break Rowan University announced that they would extend our break a week due to the pandemic. Of course being a stupid college students I thought, "sweet, more time to relax." I remember me and my lab group in Ecology sitting there thinking we were going to come back after the break, it was just the university being extra cautious. Obviously, we were wrong. But, now I know, sometimes it is okay to be a little more cautious and its okay to not know what is going to happen but that doesn't mean you should underestimate it.
2. I miss regular college more than I ever expected
I never expected to miss having to drag my half conscious self out of bed just to sit in a class surrounded by other half asleep zombies just to listen to a professor go on and on and on about the same subject that none of us are actually retaining, but damn do I. I miss taking notes while the teacher goes through their stolen powerpoints at a normal pace, I miss creating group chats with the people next to me so we can ask questions and study together. I miss partying and socializing too. Nobody play "UCLA" around me or "Everytime We Touch", we all know those are frat boy basement party songs from last year. I guess I never considered how stress relieving it was to just go out with friends and dance like idiots surrounded by a bunch of other sweaty idiots, however, after not experiencing it for almost a year, I'm ready to start a petition to make it socially acceptable for people to wear lace body suits and short skirts (as if they were going out) for no other reason than confidence and nostalgia.
3. Some people are not who you thought they were
Having to hear everyones opinions on everything this year from trusting science to basic human rights or the election has definitely been an eye opener for where people really stand. I have learned that some peoples opinions just don't line up with mine and that is okay, not everyone has to be in your life.
4. The amount of selfishness and audacity many Americans hold in their hearts is astonishing
Just look at how we handled/are handling covid. We have people throwing hissy fits with guns because they don't want to wear a mask and keep 6 feet away from others even though it could mean the difference between someone else living or dying. Repulsively selfish. And then the audacity to not listen to scientists, even though they are literally doing their jobs. ugh.
5. Some things aren't in your control and thats okay
There are things you can control like what you eat or how responsible you handle a situation. Then there are things you can't control and even if it is causing you stress, you cannot dwell on things you cant control. You can control what you do to handle the pandemic but you can't control the pandemic. You can control how you treat others but you cannot control their feelings or attitudes.
6. Humans were kinda gross before Covid
Some things that have become "normal" during this pandemic I feel like should have been normal before. Like giving strangers their distance, kinda should have been a given not to rub elbows with some random person at the grocery store. Or not touching your face after touching a million and one surface areas/objects. Suddenly everyone is like "I can't touch my face I just touched my door knob, I need to use hand sanitizer and wash my hands first".... like yes, yes, you should have been trying to avoid touching your face after touching a bunch of stuff anyway.
7. Humans are so easily adaptable
I don't care who you are or what your opinions are, if there is anything we should all agree on these days is how insane it is that we have altered almost every aspect of our lives so easily. Now it is normal to go to the grocery store or Walmart and hear an automated message about what they are doing to ensure our safety. It is normal to see people wearing masks, even children. It has been so normalized even though it has impacted schools, banks, hospitals, politics, vacation plans, travel, ceremonies, and anything in between. It is crazy to think about but also so hope-filling. If we could adapt to dealing with this pandemic, eventually we will be able to recover from its impacts and hopefully move towards a better society.