This year’s Essayist is a reflection on a year like no other. For many of us, 2020 has brought the most historic and unprecedented events of our lifetimes.
From the fear and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the public outrage and racial reckoning around the Black Lives Matter protests, to the polarization and apprehension surrounding the presidential election, this year has largely felt stressful, exhausting, painful and frankly, like an all-around shit-show.
Some students had their entire college freshman experience, like moving into a residence hall, meeting new friends and exploring Philadelphia, lost to them after already-ruined high school graduations. Others had their senior year upended, missed out on the coming-of-age milestone of turning 21 years old or the journey of studying abroad. The number of moments we gave up this year for the betterment of public health is innumerable.
Despite all the “bad things” that happened in Philadelphia and elsewhere this year, students have sought to find the positives and middle ground, whether it be in simple pleasures or major accomplishments. Some developed a closer bond with their families as a result of moving home, while others landed reputable jobs they wouldn’t have applied for before the pandemic. Some educated themselves on anti-racism and expanded their knowledge on institutional racism, and others are getting ready to graduate, even if it won’t be as celebratory as planned.
While we will surely feel the effects of the pandemic for the next few years, we’ll carry on having come out of this year more resilient than before. With only one month left in 2020, when we’re reflecting on the year and crafting our resolutions, we’ll think of how we coped and ultimately, persevered through the chaos.