In a year marred by major fires, locust swarms, and of course, a global pandemic, good news has been hard to come by. It seems like everywhere you look, something is going wrong.
And although not everyone has struggled on the same level this year, it’s safe to say that we have all been affected, in one way or another, by the curveball that 2020 has thrown at us.
But as always, there are some positives that have arisen from this year. Whether it’s something big or small, looking on the bright side can help us all to be a little more optimistic as 2020 comes to a close. Let’s take a look at the highlights of this past year and some good news from the student body.
Though almost no one enjoyed the time we were forced to stay at home, nature has taken the time off to rebound from the enormous amount of stress humans put on it. The biggest effect on nature has been the improved air quality as less carbon dioxide has been emitted by cars and other vehicles due to lower levels of travel.
Carbon emissions dropped by as much as 7% according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. For the first time in years, Venice has clear water in its canals, Delhi has blue skies, and wild animals all over the world have ventured into civilized areas due to the relative absence of humans.
An abundance of free time and a cancellation of many extracurriculars made 2020 the perfect time to connect with someone new (or old). Freshman Kyley Fera said the best part of 2020 for her was “Meeting one of my closest friends, Colin”.
Freshman Lilo Goodmanson shares the same excitement, saying the best part of 2020 was “my sister coming home from college early, this made it that we could spend more time with her.” Even though classes, sports, and clubs being cancelled was a let down for many, it made time for what’s truly important: our loved ones.
Finally, one of the biggest non-tangible benefits of 2020 was the resilience and independence it built. Virtual school taught students to become self motivated and to manage their time effectively without a teacher or other authority figure constantly monitoring them.
Sophomore Olivia Bowe reflects on the knowledge she’s gained through the hardships of this year.
“One of the best things in 2020 was getting skills from having to work virtually,” Bowe said. “It has taught me to be more independent and reach out when needing help. These skills are going to really help me in the future.”
As a whole, younger generations put up with a lot this year, including but not limited to: adapting to virtual learning, losing out on extracurricular or internship opportunities, maintaining a balanced social life in the time of social distancing, and taking part in activism and human rights movements.
Though the struggles were hard to endure, 2020 made each and every one of us a stronger person.