Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

2020 is finally ending, and most people will remember this as one of the worst years they’ve had to experience during their lifetimes. The coronavirus has infected almost 65 million people worldwide, and over 1.5 million people have already died. There’s really no better wake up call than a pandemic. Millions of individuals have been affected by deaths within the family, increasing levels of unemployment and poverty, missed milestone celebrations and an economic crisis like none other. While I agree it has been devastating in different ways for so many, it has also been arguably one of the most necessary years we’ve ever needed on a global scale. I'd say I’m a relatively optimistic person and encourage myself to look on the positive side of things, so here’s a list of personal lessons and reflections I’ve gained during a year full of uncertainty. I hope you can also appreciate 2020 for the year it was.

Sh*t happens and plans change

I think it's safe to say none of us expected to experience a global pandemic within our lifetimes. Frankly, I scarcely even knew what the word "pandemic" meant before all this. I had many plans for 2020, including at least three travel trips, which of course, all got cancelled. This year has given me the opportunity to realize more than ever that you can't always control what happens, but you can always control how you respond and react. Maybe I won't be going to NYC with my friends any time soon, but what I can do is slow down, pause and breathe. Change takes time, and you should give yourself however much time you need.

Humanity is so powerful

2020 made me reflect on the power we shared and how our communities are so closely intertwined together. This year, we've rallied together to fight for equality, justice and change. Never had we seen such a powerful global surge of action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Collectively, we are so powerful and can do so much. Time after time throughout 2020, we've held hands together and held our heads up united in care and compassion for one another. I can't wait to see us do it again.  

Embrace the change and try something new

While 2020 brought us many challenges, it also presented us with the opportunities to step out of our comfort zones and try new ways to pass the time and work. I've never seen so many people across the world who were interested in baking banana bread and figuring out how to make whatever Dalgona coffee was. As a workaholic and perfectionist, I find it difficult to slow down and do almost nothing. Nonetheless, there’s no better time than now to keep up with the newest quarantine trends. 

Mental health check

This year has been anything but easy for most of us, and we've all had to learn new ways to keep our minds and bodies healthy. From the initial fear of an unknown virus and the sudden quarantine regulations in place, many of us felt overwhelmed and isolated. It's okay to put aside social media and the news for a while to take a break. It's often filled with negativity and toxicity that you don't need to constantly surround yourself with. Also, the people you give and receive energy from are so important - they affect your mental state directly. Surround yourself with people who value and appreciate you.

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but this tumultuous year has allowed us to reflect on ourselves, our loved ones and our community. Even though we haven't been able to spend time with one another as we used to in many months and counting, I'm proud to be apart of an empathetic, positive and kind community. Crossing my fingers for an uneventful 2021!

Melissa Huen

Wilfrid Laurier '22

Melissa is in her 4th year at Wilfrid Laurier University, studying Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology. When she's not busy raving about her hometown, Vancouver, BC, you can find her baking, travelling, or checking out the newest restaurants in town.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️