Being Proud of 2020

It’s been a strange old year…

This time last year, the Coronavirus was a news story that didn’t really have any impact on our lives. Most of us were looking forward to a new year, a new decade -  The Roaring Twenties two-point-oh. We were making resolutions, setting goals, making plans; we had the whole year ahead of us and 2020 was going to be our best year yet.  

There is no denying that lots happened in the months leading up to the UK National Lockdown. There were wildfires in Australia and California, locusts swarms in Africa, murder hornets, Brexit… honestly, it was a wild start to any year, let alone the start to the year we’ve had.

And then the Coronavirus was suddenly all anyone could talk about. March arrived and the announcement was made - the UK was entering a National Lockdown to protect ourselves and others. All the while, students were trying to meet deadlines, revise for exams and write dissertations. There was a collective sense of being overwhelmed and feeling completely unsure as to what would happen. We packed up Uni rooms, houses, offices, and our lives as quickly as we could, not knowing how long this would last. Ten months later, some of us still feel the same way. 

As the year anniversary draws slowly nearer, especially with Portsmouth in Tier 4 (correct as of 31st Dec 2020), it might feel like nothing has changed. But, even within the confines of you home - you have done something incredible. You made it through.

Some people started new hobbies in lockdown - that’s great! Maybe make it your resolution in the new year to keep it up!

Some people started businesses in lockdown - fantastic! A main hustle, a side hustle, whatever you’re hustling - keep going!

Some people finished degrees - You did it! Well done! Think of the great experience you can put on your CV and talk about in interviews - overcoming obstacles and challenges!

Some people got fit in lockdown - that’s amazing! You kept up the motivation and your body will thank you for it!

All these things are something to be proud of, but so is simply surviving. You don’t have to have started a new hobby, become a fitness guru, or done any of those things. Making it through is enough. The pandemic has had a huge impact on mental health across the globe, and so being able to say ‘2020 was rubbish, but we made it,’ is something to be immensely proud of. 

As many people have said: ‘We’re all in the same storm, but we’re not in the same boat.' Everyone has had their own personal journey this year, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

And 2020 wasn’t all in darkness. We’ve seen some incredible things happen over the past year - things that will be remembered in history alongside the pandemic:

We’ve seen Kamala Harris become the first woman, first Black-American, and first Indian-American Vice President-elect.

We stood up against institutions and systematic racism, began and continue to learn about the everyday struggles of Black people's daily lives, and how to be actively anti-racist.

Captain Sir Tom Moore raised £38.9m for NHS Charities Together and became a national treasure in our eyes.

Scotland became the first country to offer free period products for all.

Africa is now free of Polio.

Marcus Rashford campaigned for free school meals for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, forcing a major government U-turn.

The Oscar for Best Picture went to the international feature film, Parasite.

We were, and are still, grateful for the dedication and hard work of all NHS workers and spent our Thursday evenings clapping in their honour.

The government announced that blood donation rules for gay and bisexual men will be relaxed across the UK in a fundamental shift towards recognising people as individuals.

A vaccine was created to protect our loved ones and ourselves against this virus.

We spent time recuperating, relaxing and taking time for ourselves.

We connected with friends and family.

We did it.

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