Students recall 2020 as the end of the year approaches

Decorations+light+up+the+community+in+preparation+to+celebrate+the+new+year.

Mandy Mah

Decorations light up the community in preparation to celebrate the new year.

Many hoped to finally follow through on their New Year’s resolutions as they transitioned into 2020. People placed their hopes and bets on the new year and the fact that 2020 was the beginning of a new, and hopefully better, decade.

However, the year took a turn for the worse in mid-March. Once filled with infinite possibilities, this seemingly typical year became anything but.

2020 became characterized by major hardships, especially COVID-19, as well as natural disasters and discoveries about new dangerous species.  Once hopeful people now had to face a grim reality: their expectations for the year would not be met in the slightest. 

“I thought I’d be able to do more during summer and be able to get more involved with school this year,” said Brooke Franaszek, a sophomore at Carlmont High School.

Franaszek may have been anticipating a social and busy year, but COVID-19 made it anything but that. Numerous guidelines implemented to slow the spread of the virus made many social gatherings and events impossible.

COVID-19 did not only hinder many gatherings. It also caused students to experience numerous other difficulties. One of the most significant challenges students faced was distance learning.

“Distance learning has been a lot tougher than I had expected it to be. The way you usually connect with teachers, bond, and enjoy the class, you understand the material better. But because of the fact that some people don’t know all of their classmates as well, it’s harder,” said Maddy Mercado, a sophomore at Carlmont High School.

Distance learning has been a lot tougher than I had expected it to be. The way you usually connect with teachers, bond, and enjoy the class, you understand the material better. But because of the fact that some people don’t know all of their classmates as well, it’s harder.”

— Maddy Mercado

But although some students find distance learning is less effective than on-campus learning and brings many disadvantages, others have been able to find some beneficial aspects.

“In some ways, I feel like it’s almost more convenient in a way to do school from home, just because I hate getting up in the morning. Now, I can get up a few minutes before school starts,” said Keya Arora, a junior at Carlmont High School. 

Still, Arora says that distance learning’s negatives heavily outweigh the positives, and she would rather attend in-person school. She says that school is much more stressful this year because she feels the social element is no longer present while learning.

Some have faced even more hardships, with families struggling financially and numerous businesses going under during this time.

Yet, despite the challenges that the year has brought, other opportunities have emerged.  Many have found ways to overcome some of the difficulties of the year.

To cope with the loss of a typically prevalent social element in our world, people have turned to other methods to connect with others.  Trending apps like Tiktok and Among Us have gained popularity as they attempted to help people connect, and many families and friends have organized calls on Zoom and other platforms to talk and feel close together.

Other opportunities have emerged during this time.  Online jobs and online volunteering have also reached more people because of COVID-19, and some have been able to spend more time with their families, discover new hobbies, or take time to do things they typically didn’t have space for in their busy schedules.  

As the year finally comes to a close, many look to 2021 with a hesitant but hopeful attitude.  Though not all the challenges of 2020 can be erased within the coming year, people believe that it will be better.

“It’s nice that the new year’s starting. But I do know realistically it’s not like the new year is going start and everything is going end,” Arora said. “Realistically, I think that there’s still a lot of work to be done, but it does make me hopeful for the future. At least with COVID-19, I know vaccines are coming soon, so hopefully next year it’ll be better in terms of that.”

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