Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

This has felt like one of the longest years ever. Between COVID-19, political unrest and the continuous terrible surprises that this year has brought, I think everyone is looking forward to the end of 2020 and viewing 2021 as a new hopeful new beginning. While this year has been beyond terrible, I have managed to learn so much from it and as we near the end of 2020, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect.

How to Deal With Uncertainty

I firmly believe that the theme of this year has been uncertainty. We are uncertain about when life will go back to normal or whether we as a nation will heal from our political divide. If you are someone like me who has a hard time dealing with uncertainty, this year has been extremely difficult for you as you are used to being in control and really struggled the first few months.

The first month of quarantine was awful, and I kept my eyes glued to news websites and cried regularly. This continued until I finally realized that no one knows what is going to happen and the only way I can keep myself sane is by focusing on myself instead of focusing on the news, and that’s what I did. I can’t say that I still don’t have periods of time where I freak out about the future and what is going to happen, but for the most part, I am able to deal with the uncertainty that this year has brought.

How to Be Productive at Home

Before quarantine, I was someone who couldn’t work at my house or in my dorm room and had to go to Starbucks or the Library in order to get anything done. I get distracted so easily when I am in my room and when I am in a public space, I feel too embarrassed to watch Netflix or TikTok, so being in public forces me to get my work done.

When COVID-19 struck and we couldn’t leave for months, I had to teach myself how to be productive and get work done in my bedroom without getting distracted which was not easy. By learning to put my phone on airplane mode and setting limits on apps such as TikTok, I was able to be more productive and efficient, thus leading to me being more successful when it came to doing work at home.

How to Develop My Own Routine

With school and activities always dictating how I spent my day, there was no need for me to try and develop my own routine because one had kind of already been put in place for me. After quarantine started and days were characterized by the occasional zoom classes and nothing else, I realized that in order to keep myself from being bored, I had to develop a routine.

Being able to stick to a routine really got me through the first part of quarantine and helped me to succeed in my classes. I refused to let myself sleep in past 10 and knew when and how I was going to get each assignment done.

How to Entertain Myself

The phrase “you have no idea how to entertain yourself” was used on me all the time by my parents when I was younger, and I had no idea how right they were until quarantine struck. Initially, all I would do was watch Tik Tok and Netflix, and when I got bored, I would be frustrated. The tide turned when I rediscovered Just Dance and spent hours a day playing which not only got me exercise but actually really made me enjoy myself.

I started painting my nails a lot and got good at doing my right hand. I even played Webkinz for a little bit. All of these things (except painting my nails) are things I wouldn’t have done without quarantine. While I don’t think I will be playing Webkinz in the future, it goes to show that learning to entertain yourself without friends can be really fun.

How to Be Better at Staying in Touch

Sometimes, I am the absolute worst at texting people back, responding to their Snapchats or even Facetiming. When the world shut down and we quickly turned to Zoom, I realized that if I didn’t keep in touch with people, I was going to be miserable.

I got better at responding to texts and remembering to Facetime people back. It helped me get through the period of quarantine where we couldn’t even do socially distanced hang outs. I can’t say that I’ve gotten better at Snapchat; however, when it comes to Facetime and texting, I’ve become so much better, and that has carried over to when I was able to safely see people again back at school.

Even though this year was horrible, I hope everyone learned something from this year that they can carry with them into next year. Whether it’s a new hobby or skill, I hope everyone had some sort of highlight from this dismal year. To a better 2021, collegiettes.

Reese Bernstein is a junior at Penn State majoring in Psychology with a focus in business. She is from "right outside" of DC in Northern Virginia. Along with writing for Her Campus, Reese is a member of a sorority and occasionally goes to Zumba classes when feeling motivated.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️