If you are reading this, then congrats- you survived 2020! Now onto 2020 part two....just kidding(hopefully).
Last year was hard. To say the least.
My college experience randomly ended in March and I have not seen many of my friends since and have had to navigate being a student, patient, friend, and daughter during a global pandemic. I think the quote "We have pressed pause on everything that makes us feel like we belong" from Grey's Anatomy accurately sums it up.
I cannot imagine what it is like for frontline workers and people who have lost loved ones to covid-19. We need to keep them in our hearts and continue to follow CDC guidelines until this pandemic ends. If you have not been following CDC guidelines these past many months- you can and should start now.
We have our entire lives to be selfish. Right now, more than ever, selfishness kills. I encourage you to choose patience, resilience, and empathy even though it's hard.
Even though 2020 was hard, I believe I learned and grew a lot. I want to cover a few of the learning experiences I had in 2020 that inspired me or just simply taught me something new.
I joined iWave
Joining iWave was not only a big turning point in my life but also a learning opportunity. Through hearing my coworkers' stories, outreach volunteering, and attending events- I have learned so much. I have learned that there are more flaws in our healthcare system than I thought. I have learned that people are more resilient than I thought. And most importantly, I have learned that there are people who care more than I could have ever imagined. I honestly believe joining iWave has made me a better and more optimistic person.
I took a Sociology course
This summer I took a Sociology course and it really opened my eyes. It helped me develop a better understanding of a lot of issues in our society, especially systemic racism and sexism, and I am very grateful for that. I learned about unique issues multiple communities in the US face, but one community that was not covered at all in the course was the disabled community, and I wish they had. I want college students to learn about the disadvantages and obstacles the disabled community faces in modern society as education fuels passion; people will only become passionate about advocating for the disabled community after they learn why there is a need for advocacy in the first place.
I learned that life can change in any moment- for better or for worse
The pandemic happened, and I experienced a new level of loneliness. That’s something I never expected. But there were a lot of positive changes that occurred too. I started therapy, I started writing again, I don’t have hypothyroidism anymore, my GPA went up, and more. All of these events taught me that sometimes I’m going to see the fruits of my effort, other times I’m going to have to force myself to keep trying even though nothing seems to be working, and sometimes things just won’t work out. And that’s okay.
I learned that people have more empathy than I thought
A lot of people refused to follow CDC guidelines. But a lot of people did. A lot of people did press pause on their lives for the sake of themselves and others, and I did not think they would. It taught me that there are a lot of people who have empathy and will care for others even when it is hard. I could not be more grateful for their resilience.
These are just some of the lessons I learned in 2020, if I were to list them all this blog would be 6 pages. Honestly, even though I am grateful for everything I learned, I hope this year brings me a sense of familiarity rather than learning experiences.
I really miss hugging people, going to restaurants, seeing my friends, traveling, and just feeling like I belong. I know a lot of people do. And I know we will bring it all back.