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Looking back to the end of 2019, I feel a bit naive regarding how optimistic I was for Summer 2020. This summer was supposed to be one of the best summers of my life thus far. I had already secured an internship, planned to see Harry Styles in concert, and had many more thrilling adventures awaiting me. I should also add that I was finally turning 21 this summer and was thrilled to be getting a new license photo taken! Very suddenly, all of my aspirations for the summer slipped away as the COVID-19 outbreak inundated the nation.

I will admit I exhibit several Type A characteristics. I’m a go-getter and like to stay active and busy. Hence, the coronavirus pandemic completely upheaved my bustling lifestyle. Miraculously, my internship didn’t get canceled, but it was altered from ten-weeks in-person to two-weeks virtual. This left me with an unexpected amount of time on my hands. Throughout life, I’ve struggled with wanting to make the most of my time and feeling ashamed for taking a day off. I took several needed days for myself this summer which I know could’ve been used in more productive ways, but I recognize I should give myself a break because this is potentially a once in a century catastrophe and everyone is facing hardships right now. So if you’re reading this and feel you could’ve done more this summer, like learning a new skill, don’t be so hard on yourself. Plus, there’s no time like the present.

With all of this extra time at my disposal, I did pick up some new hobbies. I’ve made this banana bread recipe with my mom more weeks than not and have added all sorts of twists to it to uncover the perfect combination. (Don’t forget to add chocolate chips!) My family got Netflix for the first time in early June and we’ve been binge-watching shows like crazy! My favorites so far are Never Have I Ever, Kim’s Convenience, Unbelievable, and Selling Sunset (#TeamChrishell). I’ve also enjoyed completing paint-by-numbers paintings. I was unaware they made these for adults, but I guess they sell everything these days. Being able to relax on my patio, pop in my AirPods, and tune out the world for the afternoon, while painting the Stark family from Game of Thrones, has been my form of self-care. 

All of these things, along with the love and support of my family and friends, has kept me grounded during these trying times. Though spending the summer in quarantine drove me stir-crazy at times, I’m proud to have done my part in containing the virus and commend the front-line workers still giving it their all and proving themselves to be real-life superheroes. Summer 2020 will definitely be a summer I will never forget. It’s impossible to forget the 180,000+ American lives taken by this horrid disease and the impact it has made on every single American life. Our generation has lived through some of the darkest days this summer, which can taint our outlook and hope for the future. Personally, there are a lot of things from this summer I don’t wish to remember but this summer, and frankly, this year as a whole, has taught me how resilient I, along with many Americans doing the right thing, are, and the strength this generation holds. I’m proud of us for caring about not only our own lives, but the lives of our neighbors. Wearing a mask when out and staying home has been a challenge for me this summer, but it’s possible. I lived it. Though this summer may have seemed like a bust because you stayed home all summer, I promise you it’s not. You saved lives, and that is how I will remember Summer 2020.

Sam Fellin is a senior at Rutgers Business School majoring in accounting. She is currently the Co-Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Rutgers. With a passion for learning as well as teaching, Sam aspires to be a future leader in business. Her interests include reality TV, fashion, and anything Disney. For the latest on Sam, follow her on Instagram: @samfellin
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