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I can attest that the year 2020 has had its share of strange and interesting events; however, I believe that it is imperative to use this year as a foundation or looking glass of all that you have overcome and are working through. Reflect on what has set you back and what areas you have grown in. It’s easy to reject the leaps and bounds we’ve made this year, and just focus on what we’ve missed. However, there is so much that we have learned this year. The fact that you are making it through this trying year, to me, is important.

From the mental health perspective, I have had moments where I could not face myself. It became difficult for me to be transparent with myself, let alone others. I created a wall and hid behind a façade. I struggled with striving to be better, to do more than the bare minimum—I became complacent in a scary place…I became discouraged. I have lacked the drive needed to achieve and be the things I say and express. However, I am rising out of that place. One thing is for sure, that I am not doing it alone. I have strong support, my mother, building me up every day.

What has 2020 taught you? What have you learned?

As a high school senior, the year 2020 has taught me to improvise and like my mother always says, “seek the silver lining in each situation”. I have learned to take each moment one step at a time because of uncertainty. I have learned to be grateful for the memories I get to create with my family and friends. I get to be a voice and advocate for myself and others. I have learned to never take anyone or anything for granted. I have been given a year to stop, listen, reflect, and correct. Through hardships, changes, and losses, we as a nation and as individuals have learned much about ourselves. Now, what are we going to do with that knowledge?

What advice would you give someone moving forward?

Moving forward into a new year, my advice to someone would be to always advocate for yourself because your voice and your story matter. Maintain and cater to your mental health with acts of self-care because it is vital to one’s stability, especially during the times we are living in now. Some ideas for self-care could be going on a nature walk, buying yourself a gift, or even taking a day to rest and meditate. You could also check out Vibrant Emotional Health’s “Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Outbreak” page, which shares helpful resources and coping tips. No matter what comes in the future, take pride in the fact that you have come this far…keep going you’re almost there.

Share below what 2020 has taught you and/or advice you would give to someone moving forward!


  • Jawanza Hampton

    “Seek the silver lining in each situation” and also be kind to yourself. Learn from your struggles and acknowledge when you need help and/or support.

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  • iris

    Thank you Jai, for this very kind and gentle article. I enjoyed very much reading it, and felt lighter after reading it and took your advice and went for a Nature Walk! It made a world or difference to how i was feeling. i wish you and all who read these articles the very best for 2021. Blessings

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