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I’m certain we can all agree that 2020 has been challenging for a multitude of reasons. When I reflect on these past 12 months, I recall moments that tested our strength, and moments that rattled us. But I also think back on a year of change. Despite the challenges that we encountered this past year, we’ve been granted some opportunities to rethink the way in which we live. So as many of us count down the days until this historic year is behind us, let us think back on the moments that offered change.


In January, we watched as the Australian wildfires devastated countless communities and ecosystems, leaving a heartbreaking trail of destruction in its path. As we witnessed the wrath of Mother Nature, perhaps a greater ecological revolution began to take form. Once again, our planet offered us a sign that change needs to take place, and it needs to take place quickly. 


The deadly COVID-19 pandemic quickly proved to be the greatest public health crisis in generations. The staggering death toll continues to climb, and a socially distant reality has begun to sink in. This global outbreak has brought with it immense suffering and tragedy. But it has offered us an opportunity to reflect on our obligations to our fellow humans, and to those most at risk. We also recognize those who sacrifice their well-being on the frontlines every day, and who have been doing so long before this pandemic. 


This year, we watched as the nation was swept with protests demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice. We marched and mourned with one another, and witnessed an uprising that will forever make its mark on our nation’s history. We watched, we listened, and we learned. Many of us took this as an opportunity to reflect, and to do better.


The loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sent shock waves throughout the nation. A revolutionary trailblazer and a giant for gender equality, RBG’s legacy will certainly live on. Her passing just months before the historic election allowed the American people to reflect on her incredible accomplishments in the realm of female empowerment. Although feeling the void of her presence, we look forward to a future of change and equality. 


The historic 2020 presidential election offered us with a breath of fresh air, and a glimpse of a hopeful future. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris made history as the first woman and woman of color to hold office. This beautiful, yet long overdue, moment of change opened a world of possibility to young girls across the nation. We watched the glorious moment that a presidency tolerating hateful behavior toward females will soon be succeeded by a powerful, unapologetic woman. 


2020 has thrown us into some dark times. We’ve experienced great sorrow and suffered through some difficult challenges. But with this discomfort comes growth. We’ve learned to adapt and change our ways for the better. At the end of this challenging year, perhaps we can take an opportunity to reflect on the positive changes that have entered our lives. 

Senior at Saint Michael's College majoring in Public Health with a Chemistry minor. Lover of good people and the great outdoors.
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