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Two Sides to Every Coin: A 2020 Story

Updated: May 22, 2021

Story submitted by Jada Exter

The tumultuous year of 2020 will forever be remembered in history. This was a year that consisted of various catastrophic happenings, ranging from the Australian bushfires, the widespread Black Lives Matter Movement, and the presidential election. Although many of the previous instances mentioned were of great immensity, there was one significant event that truly outranked the rest – this being the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the major negative impacts of COVID-19 included contracting the virus, denying close physical contact, losing a job, or transitioning from in-person to online learning. Moreover, the pandemic played a role in all aspects of life and is currently continuing to do so throughout the world.

Personally speaking, the year of 2020 presented many ups and downs. Beginning with the positives, I graduated magna cum laude from Luzerne County Community College and transferred my credits to Wilkes University to continue my degree in psychology. During my short time at Wilkes, I also added a Spanish major, as well as a secondary education minor to my area of study.

Along with this, I celebrated my 21st birthday with my close family and friends. I faced my fears of driving, and as a result, received my driver’s license. Another beneficial event of last year was that I started a teaching position at my parish. All in all, from a positive standpoint, the pandemic allowed me to explore more opportunities, spend more time with family and friends, and reflect on the things that truly matter most in life.

Besides the positive moments of 2020 that shaped my life, there were also hardships. For instance, both my aunt and uncle tragically passed away last year. This was an exceptionally difficult time, as anyone who has lost a loved one can imagine. Not only was it painful enough to lose two family members, but then the pandemic interfered with having a funeral and mass. The fact that I could not attend either my aunt’s or my uncle’s funeral or properly say my goodbyes left me beyond heartbroken. Indeed, this was an incredibly challenging time. Nevertheless, I persevered and continued to keep my head held high, thanks to the power of prayer and being surrounded by supportive family and friends.

Overall, 2020 was filled with positives and negatives. I faced difficulties during this time, such as the loss of my aunt and uncle. However, instead of forever being upset and angry about the circumstances, I eventually came to terms with the outcome and accepted the fact that hardships are a part of life. On the other hand, the stay-at-home order was honestly a blessing in disguise. I was able to further discover myself, self-reflect, and take additional chances that I would have thought impossible prior to the pandemic.

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