2020: A Look Back and a Look Ahead

(Photo credit clockwise MinnPost, WBUR, New York Times)

It goes without saying: 2020 has been unlike any year most of us have lived through. Between the pandemic and its vast effects on our day to day lives, to civil unrest this summer after police killings of unarmed African Americans, that’s not even scratching the surface. It is clear that there’s a lot to unpack, and The Blue And White wanted to hear what some members of the Apopka High School community took away from this very eventful year.

Senior Gerardo Martinez told us when looking back at the negatives that 2020 handed him and the positives he took from them, ” the worst part of 2020 has to be limitations of all socializing we were used to.” He adds, “It serves as a reminder to always enjoy your life to fullest. Nothing is promised in life. Be grateful for what we have.” While 2020 has been rough, it’s also worth noting that it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Gerardo said.“The best part of 2020 is all the new people I met through the changes of COVID.” With so much that happened this year, some feel that it’s best to look ahead to 2021 and put the mess of a year that was 2020 behind us. “My hope for 2021 is to grow and learn more about myself while finding new hobbies,” explained Gerardo

The Blue And White also spoke with Senior Andrew Ramsundar. As for what he thought was the worst aspect of 2020 he said, “The positive takeaways are learning to become a better person, not just for the ones around me, but myself, as well. The pandemic also gives a new perspective on how to appreciate the aspects of life I’ve never noticed. “He went on to add,”The best part about 2020 is getting to talk to my cousin more. I can’t imagine life without her. She’s essentially my best friend.” Andrew hopes for “pull back from the failures of 2020. I hope all I learned will be put to good use.”

For a teacher’s perspective, we spoke to Mr. Brener. ”It was the lost opportunity for social activities, conferences, events, and family reunions. Many people couldn’t travel to visit parents and close family members during the holidays,” he began. As for what he learned from that, he said “We learned to appreciate our family, friends, and what we have. We successfully differentiated what is essential from what we wish we had. I think during this year every family improved their cooking skills!” From a positive standpoint Mr. Brener said, “The year taught us to value our social interactions. Social media is not a simple substitution for building relationships and having a real social life. We also learned to be open-minded and adapt to difficult times.” He adds, “A healthy year. A year with possibilities to grow and develop all our projects and dreams.”

In short, 2020 has thrown society a number of curveballs, roadblocks, and obstacles. Some have wanted 2020 to end for months now, others view this as an opportunity to learn and grow. There are countless ways to express the events of the last forty-nine weeks and plenty to take away from it. It’s time for this chapter to end and time to start a new one. Have a happy and safe holiday season and new year.