Thinking about everything that has changed in the last year can be scary and overwhelming. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in a lot of areas, affecting things as local as the closing of many small businesses and as large as the operations of the entire entertainment industry.
I’ve caught myself thinking a lot about what I was doing this time last year. I’ve always had an oddly emotional attachment to influential times in my life, and my sophomore year of college and the summer following it was shaping up to be one of the best yet.
Needless to say, I miss a lot of the opportunities that 2020 offered me before the coronavirus closed down the world, and I’m sad to have missed out on so much that was canceled or changed.
However, recently, when I’ve thought about the last year, I’ve steered myself away from the forlorn memories and reminded myself of the things I learned, the creative freedom I had, the time I spent with my family and friends and how joyful I felt when life started returning to normal.
It’s these things I want to take from 2020 as I continue through the second half of my college career and look towards graduation and adulthood.
Don’t hear me say that 2020 wasn’t terrible for a lot of people, that the coronavirus isn’t a deadly threat or that the year was one full of pleasant experiences. That’s not realistic, and certainly not true – I’m not here to sugarcoat that at all.
I’d just rather remember the positive ways that those experiences shaped me and the interesting paths I’ve been down this year that I otherwise would not have had the chance to.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of so much change, I write this both as a reminder and encouragement to myself and to those who read it: you might be surprised at what you discover about yourself when you reflect on how “the year that changed the world” changed you.