Cheers too 2021! As I settle into the year, I’ve been reflecting on 2020. While it was a wild ride (I’m trying to refrain from saying unprecedented times, but wild ride doesn’t seem to work either), I have to say that this period has proved to be a time of patience, growth, and learning. Maybe I say that as someone who has the privilege that I do, but I truly believe that you can’t experience the highs without the lows.
Today, I wanted to take the time to reflect the highs and lows before I manifest for the coming year. Keep reading to find out more.
Low: Less Disney
We’re going to start with my champagne problems, but I really miss my regular trips to Walt Disney World. I went to celebrate my wins, I went to hang out with my sisters, and my now-boyfriend realized that I was something special at Magic Kingdom. It became an essential part of my college experience, and I miss it.
High: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
I’m happy that, before the pandemic hit, I was at least able to go to the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The ride is so fun and colorful, it would probably rival Fantasia as my favorite attraction at Hollywood Studios. I might even say it is one of my favorite rides in all of Disney World, but I haven’t tried the new Ratatouille attraction yet. TBD for that one.
High: Sorority Paddle Reveal
One of the highlight moments of being a sorority girl is being a Big getting her paddle from her Little. The paddle and jersey are supposed to be two things that symbolize the relationship. I didn’t have any expectations of what mine would be like, but it’s so cute and classic. I wish that I was graceful enough to not constantly knock the flowers off of it, but I guess that’s life.
High: Animal Crossing
For Christmas, I got my sisters the Nintendo Switch, so when the pandemic hit and everyone was trying to get a Switch, we had no problems. Luckily, being in a small town, that means that I didn’t have to compete for the Animal Crossing game when it came out either. Throughout the year, I probably spent a little more time on this game than I should’ve.
Low: Zoom Meetings
Fun fact about me: I’m a little technology challenged. Staring at screens for a long period of time is something I find exhausting. So even though I don’t have to travel anywhere to be in places, have I loved having Zoom as an option? Not really.
High: Family Time
I signed up for a coaching program, and I remember this line that said, “If you think you’re zen, go spend 15 minutes with your family.” As challenging as it has been to spend so much time with my family, I’m also grateful for it. My grandma just turned 90, and I’m sure my dog isn’t used to seeing so much of me. Of course, as much as I appreciate the time, they still have the ability to make me want to climb out of house and home…
High: More Home Cooking
If you ask what my love language is, my boyfriend and I would both tell you food. Food is also the thing that connects me to my grandma, because that’s where my love and appreciation for food comes from. My exciting thing for the year was that I started a food blog, but I haven’t really stayed on top of it. My resolution might be to invest more time in the things for me, like the blogs and reading books.
Low: More Stress
Do I really need to explain this one? The worry, stress, and anxiety was through the roof for me at different points of this pandemic.
High: Cold Weather
It’s typically not cold in Florida, and even when it is, it doesn’t last for more than three days. It warmed my holiday heart when the cold front hit Florida for a bit in December. I hope that it continues for years to come.
Katrina is the photographer that I hired to do my anniversary photos, along with my grad photos. I don’t know if we would’ve met if I didn’t hire her, but I’m glad I did. I always love all of the photos I receive, and she’s such a cute, hard working human. While I don’t anticipate needing her services for the coming year, my hope is that we can be friends going forward. Make sure to check out her work, because you might fall in love too.
Low: Less Travel
One of the things I was most excited for about 2020 was the chance to go back to New York City for Her Conference, and to go to Los Angeles for the first time. It obviously didn’t happen, but I’m happy that I was able to visit my boyfriend’s family before COVID, and that we could have a small staycation at the end of the year.
High: New Job
Something that really surprised me this year was that I was able to find a job after I graduated, especially in the face of COVID. I think it goes to show that, if you know how to sell yourself, and you have the right connections, you can make things happen. I’m so fortunate and so happy for this opportunity.
High: Magazine Publication
Throughout my life, my favorite professional experiences have been working on literary magazines. I was so happy that it was an internship option for senior year, and then I managed to get a leadership opportunity designing the layout of
Low: Economic Struggles
Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I read some news story that said 60% of small businesses had closed as a result of the economic crisis brought on by COVID. I have no doubt that percentage has only increased as time went on, and thinking of the impact on civilians makes me sad. With my parents running business after business throughout the years of my life, I’m too aware of how hard it is to have a successful small business on a normal day. COVID truly put many people and small businesses through the ringer.
High: Department Award
Did you know that each department has the ability to hand out awards? I didn’t know it was a thing that happened until I got an email saying that I had been nominated for one. The moment I read the email was the moment that it hit me that I was actually graduating. I would’ve loved to have the experience in-person, but since we’re in COVID times, it’s over Zoom.
If anyone has ever had a conversation with me. you know that I used to joke about how I would never graduate. The running joke would be that I would just continue to pick up different degrees, and that if I never graduated, the interest on any student loans I take out wouldn’t kick in until I graduated. I picked up and dropped minors like tissues. Luckily, I never changed my major, and just kept the two I declared when I came in.
Low: Less Time with Friends
It’s possible that I had more time with them, between all the Zoom calls and Netflix parties, but nothing compares to being in person with someone. My favorite thing is talking to someone, and seeing their whole face light up with passion. I also love hugs. I miss these things.
High: So In Love
This is probably self-explanatory, but I’m so in love with my boyfriend, and I think I fall more in love with him as time goes on. We had our 1 year anniversary this past year, I’ve visited his family for a hometown date, and we had a mini-staycation that probably solidified the feeling that I would never want to leave. To say that I’m the luckiest girl in the world would probably be the truth at this point.
High: “Yes” Mindset
Before this pandemic, I said no to life so often that quarantine made me realize I should say yes more. I said no to going out because I didn’t like being out late, or I didn’t want to deal with sticky club floors. I said no to opportunities because I was afraid of failing. I said no to what I wanted because it made me happy to help and see other people happy. Going forward, I might live by the motto that, “It’s it’s not a ‘hell yes,’ it’s a no.” You just never know what’s going to happen next, so why deny myself of that?
High & Low: So Many Lasts
This is a mixed bag. My baby sister is in her last year of elementary school, and with online learning and restrictions, it doesn’t look like what she’s had for years. Back in March, I didn’t realize that my last sorority event would be at Top Golf in tacky tourist outfits. The last time I would set foot on campus as an undergraduate student. These are just a few things that might’ve been high in the moment, but the nostalgia makes it a little sad that things are so unconventional.
What highs and lows did you experience in this last year? How did you ring in 2021? Is there something you’re hoping for in 2021? Tell me in the comments below!
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