20 Things I’ve Learned From 2020

This post has a very similar name to my post from July, all about 21 things I’ve learned in my 21 years, but I thought seeing as the year is coming to a close, it would be nice to reflect on the craziness, unpredictability, and absolute mess of 2020!

This year has seen a global pandemic, and a great amount of change and upheaval have hit the world. Wherever you live and whatever your experience of 2020, the world is not the same as it was in 2019- and whether you’ve flourished or floundered, it’s important we take some time to reflect on this year before we see what 2021 has to offer.

The following list is 20 things I’ve learned from 2020. I’m sure they are lessons, views, and small revelations that will carry me into 2021- and beyond!

This post contains affiliate products. If you purchase one of these products I earn a little commission, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I’ve used and loved ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Sometimes, you have to just do you

I think this is something we’ve all learned during the pandemic. I’ve spent hours getting frustrated about what other people are doing- those people are meeting more people than they should, those people are breaking the rules, those people aren’t wearing their masks.

And I’m not going to lie, it’s still very hard that people seem to think they’re above the rules. And the people who know me know that Iโ€™m not great at letting things go… but Iโ€™m getting there!

I’m slowly starting to realise that sometimes, you have to just do you- and ignore what other people are doing. There are so many times Iโ€™ve been panicked or upset or angry about what others are doing- so in this coming year I’m going to have more confidence in my choices and just focus on what I’m doing.

2. How to pick myself back up

I think this is something we’ve all had to get used to during lockdown, and the recent pandemic! After receiving numerous job rejections, with ups and downs during the past few months, I think this year has been a useful lesson in knowing how to pick myself back up after a let-down.

Check out my recent guest post for Alison Wolf about job hunting during the pandemic- and the ups and downs of the past year!

3. Working out can be fun

I’m still not good at working out regularly- and fitness it not my thing- but during this year I learned that working out can actually be a lot of fun- even if it’s not something I force myself to do as regularly as I should.

4. ‘Friends’ is a fantastic show

The characters from the show 'Friends' pose for the camera.
Picture credits here

I loved ‘Friends‘ before this year, but me and my parents watched the series again in the past few months and it was always something to look forward to on a Friday night. The show is fantastic- and I know a lot of people are thankful for shows such as ‘Friends’ on Netflix this year!

5. Eating healthy can be good for your mental health

This is definitely something I’ve learned from 2020! I’ve always known there’s a link between mental health and eating well. But this year I really started to eat a little healthier, especially since moving back home after University, and I think choosing my food more carefully has had a positive impact on my physical and mental health.

6. Using Pinterest to grow my blog

This is a more practical skill- and I’ve only just started to enjoy using Pinterest to grow my blogging views. I don’t think I’ll ever be the most skilled, but I’m happy that I’ve started to show more interest in my account, and 2020 has been a real blogging learning curve for me.

If you’re interested in building your Pinterest account, check out *Amber’s pretty Pinterest templates, which are super easy to use, helpful… and super pretty!

7. The internet can be a fantastic place

I think 2020 has made me realise just how brilliant the internet is. With the internet, I’ve been able to focus my energy on growing my blog, and the internet has allowed me to stay in touch with all the people I don’t live with. It can be a fantastic place, if used safely!

8. Netflix is a God-send

Let’s be honest, it just is! I’m very lucky that my dad pays for my Netflix account- and I’m so grateful to have both in my life ๐Ÿ™‚

9. The skills necessary to be a medical receptionist

Image of a stethoscope and laptop keyboard.
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

This is another practical one! I recently started a part-time role as a medical receptionist, and so the end of 2020 has been all about understanding this role. I’m really enjoying my job and I get the chance to work with patients and learn more about the medical world- which I never thought would be as interesting as it is!

10. You can always tell who is there for you

This is just something you can always tell, especially in a year like 2020. Many of us have needed more support than we might do in usual circumstances- and I’ve been so lucky to have people around to support me. You can always tell those who will stick with you when everyone’s going through a tough time.

11. Sometimes, you have to give new ventures a bit of time

In 2020 I’ve been building my blog, and I’ve noticed that new ventures into the blogging world can take a little time.

Whether you’re starting something new in the coming year, or you’ve been busy working on something new this past year- sometimes it takes time for a new venture to show fruition. It’s important to remember your hard work will pay off one day!

12. Everyone is stronger than they think

I’m sure if the events of this year had been predicted, no-one would have thought they were ready to face a pandemic and be separated from all their loved ones as we have been this past year.

But nevertheless, we have got on with it and stayed strong– and I think we need to recognise how strong we are as we go into the coming years.

13. Speaking on the phone isn’t as terrifying as I used to think

I used to be terrified of speaking on the phone! But since I talk to my boyfriend almost everyday for a quick chat, and my job now revolves around calling people, leaving messages, and even answering the phone to random patients- my fears have gone!

14. I love writing

A woman sits in bed and uses her laptop under the covers. The background is covered in posters and artwork.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

I love to write- and this is something I definitely knew before 2020! But this year I’ve really been trying to focus on it more, using those long hours of lockdown to be productive. I think if you enjoy writing it can be the perfect way to express yourself- whether that’s in a blog post, article, or book idea.

15. I can write a dissertation

It feels like an age since I wrote and submitted my dissertation, but over the course of this year I realised I could effectively plan, write, and execute a dissertation. I wrote my dissertation about historic female treatment in the mental hospitals of York- and I am passionate about all the topics I covered.

16. Trash TV is the perfect escapism

Before 2020, I definitely slated trash TV a lot more- but whether it’s Love is Blind or Celebs Go Dating, watching something that helps me switch off and forget about what’s going on in the world is so much fun. Me and my sister have been watching trash TV since lockdown started- and I definitely think it has a place for escapism, especially at the moment.

17. Being busy should never be an excuse to put off what you want to do

I think this is something a lot of people need to remember- including me! Just because you’re busy and life seems to be hectic, if there’s something you really want to do you shouldn’t put it off, you should do it.

18. Moaning is pointless- and doesn’t always help

We all moan and rant when we’re stressed or angry or upset. And sometimes you need to vent to get something off your chest. But unnecessary moaning and wallowing doesn’t always help a situation. Especially in 2020, where everything has been stressful and crazy, people have been talking about the pandemic left, right, and centre.

Sometimes, you just need to get through a conversation without mentioning the situation, and moaning or speculating about it unnecessarily definitely doesn’t help- although we’re all guilty of it!

19. I really need to get back into a reading routine!

A woman holds a book entitled "This is For the Women Who Don't Give a F**k".
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Since University (where I had so much required reading) I’ve found it so difficult to get back into a reading routine. After my birthday I got into the habit of reading poems and short stories, as my parents bought me a gorgeous first edition Plath poetry collection, and I know that come 2021 I need to get back into a reading routine.

20. I want to write a book!

This is something I’ve always said I wanted to do, but I’ve never really made an active effort to try. As well as perhaps writing an ebook or other product for my blog in the next few years, I would also like to write and publish a fiction novel- and finally in 2020 I’ve started trying to write more. We’ll see how it goes!

What do you think of the 20 things I’ve learned from 2020? What has your 2020 looked like? Do you enjoy reading other people’s experiences of this strange year?

Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy reading x

123 thoughts

  1. I loved reading this post. I hope you get to write that book! I really want to write a book! Iโ€™ve been lucky to get a chapter in someone elseโ€™s book for now ๐Ÿ™‚ some of these points I can relate to. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh I love this! The focusing on you and trying to ignore what other people are doing is such an important one – and so much easier said than done. There are so many things that relate to me so much in this, but I especially love finding the time for what we are passionate for. I’ve let that slip so much this year, but I know I need to start letting my passions come first again. Great post, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So much easier said than done for sure- it’s something I’m really going to work on! I’m glad you find this relatable, I definitely recommend working on the things you love as that’s what you enjoy the most. Thank you for the kind words x


  3. I always rolled my eyes a little when I saw advertisements for trash tv in the past. Over the last few years, I’ve tried checking it out a little, but never really got into it too much… Then 2020 hit! I agree with you, it offers a level of escapism that I haven’t found in anything else. There’s something about just shutting off and relaxing that is the PERFECT break from the crazy world that we currently live in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree haha, I think as long as you don’t get sucked into it too much it can really be the perfect escapism during these difficult times ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for sharing your thoughts on this tricky year, happy (almost) new year x


  4. Lovely idea to review this hell of a year – you’ve done it such justice I think I counted 21 things! You’ve achieved an awful lot with the blog and the work you put into it should be commended – now to take it forward into 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really love this post because even though 2020 hasn’t been the best, I think it’s a year that taught us a lot. I love that you started to use Pinterest more with your blog – as that’s what I’m hoping to do in 2021. You’ve achieved so much, and I completely agree – Trash TV is the best escapism! I think for me, in 2020 I learnt to actually believe in myself and have become a full-time freelancer which is exciting and something I didn’t feel was possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it definitely has taught us so much! I think it’s something I’m going to look into improving my Pinterest account even more in 2021 ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you! That’s so exciting I love that- I definitely want to get to that position at some point x


  6. Thanks a lot for sharing these!! It helped me take a step back and think on what I’ve learnt from 2020 too. I found this post so very inspirational xx. I’m glad you mentioned that part about unnecessary wallowing. How muhc ever I lie to myself, I think I’ve always been doing that. It’s very important to sort of accept that to oneself because only then will we get over it. Thanks for mentioning that, I really needed someone to remind me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m always guilty of wallowing too, but Iโ€™m so glad this post was relevant for you and I agree- we have to accept that itโ€™s okay to wallow, but also we need to pick ourselves back up x


  7. I loved this post! Congratulations on submitting your dissertation and on your new job. I would also love to get back into a reading routine but I had a run of books that I just couldn’t get into and it ended up meaning I stopped reading. I read now sporadically but it is something that I would like to do more of in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you! Haha we sometimes need to escape into the lives of โ€œcelebritiesโ€! Iโ€™m so happy to hear that your relationship has flourished during this time- I feel the same, despite being separated from my boyfriend for much of 2020! Thank you, the same to you x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love these tips. One of the biggest I need to learn is that complaining doesn’t always help. In my case almost never and all it does is make me feel worse! We all can learn a lot from this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent post! Friends is one of my favourites. This year has been a tough one to say the least… So, hope next year is better! (Happy New Year!) x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. All of these are my favourite and I could relate to them. I really want to write a book too, once I tried my hands on short stories and it was really fun. My dream job is becoming a โ€œwriterโ€ lol but whoโ€™s going to lend me a trip to island with small a cottage๐Ÿ˜‚

    I really enjoyed reading thisโœจ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Some great lessons here and lots of very true points โค๏ธ I particularly agree with realising how great the internet can be! Imagine how different this year would have been without it, itโ€™s provided such an escape for a lot of us I think ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoyed reading this! Most of your list is similar to things I’ve felt in 2020. In 2020, I really focused on trusting myself and whats best for me. Here’s to 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I agree with so many of these!! I need to sort out my reading routine and i have watched so much friends and Netflix. ๐Ÿ˜‚Congratulations on the dissertation and new job – sounds like you made the most of 2020!!!๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I just love this enthusiastic post. While I not as young as you are, so many of these still apply in my 40s! So relatable.(giving new ventures some time! Of course! I am so impatient!) And yes, Netflix IS God-send! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Iโ€™ve tried to be positive ๐Ÿ˜‚ Iโ€™m so glad you found them relatable- I hope they can be relatable whatever stage of life youโ€™re in ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing, Netflix has been the best this year especially!


  16. This was inspirational to read – you have learned so many positive things during 2020! I can relate to the phone calls – I used to get really nervous about video calling but I’ve done it so much this year that I’m okay with it now! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great list! I was your age when Friends was first broadcast, and I remember students crowding around every TV on Thursdays to watch the new episodes. Itโ€™s so strange how itโ€™s stayed so relevant.

    Also, love the first one. There is strength and power in being yourself and letting other be themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Loved this post! 2020 has definitely been a year like no other and I am hoping that 2021 brings better things. Happy New Year, and I hope you reach all your goals for this year! PS Netflix has been unmatched in these tough times.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is such a great post. I think 2020, despite all the crap, certainly taught us all some much needed lessons!

    Congratulations on the new job, having one you love really makes all the difference! My Mum was a medical secretary and ADORED her job!

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love this post. I think definitely doing things that make you happy is a big one fore most of us. Glad you are enjoying your new job, it’s always good when you like what you do ๐Ÿ˜Š I think Netflix has got so much action this year, so many choices for things to watch. Happy New Year ๐ŸŽ‰ x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lottie ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes I think that’s something we’ve all learned this year, and Netflix has really uped it’s game in the current situation- all of the different channels/platforms have! Happy New Year x


  21. Great lessons! I too would love to grow my blog more and I’ve also had a book idea in my head for several years. I simply need to sit down and put pencil to paper with it. I hope you have a great 2021!


  22. Looks like you’ve learnt a lot last year! And it’s a nice mix of life lessons and practical skills so go you! I think a lot of these were things we all learnt in 2020 – a pandemic was definitely a steep learning curve for us all!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I’ve really enjoyed home workouts this year! You get to pick what works for you without fear of judgement or having to leave your house! hahah! Would love to hear how you mastered Pinterest!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think itโ€™s the fear of judgement that keeps me away from classes haha ๐Ÿ™‚ nooo haha I definitely have no mastered it yet- itโ€™s been a learning curve but those templates have been a life-saver!


  24. It’s great that you’ve managed to learn so much in a year. I don’t know how any of us would have made it through this year without Netflix/ Prime etc. And I’m sure the majority found that bit more inner strength at times too x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you- I had a good foundation but this year I really felt my blog come into its own ๐Ÿ™‚ it was definitely a must this year- Iโ€™m so glad to Iโ€™ve also felt there were positives to this past year z


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