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!
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 I’m not great at letting things go… but I’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 I’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
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 🙂
9. The skills necessary to be a medical receptionist
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
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!
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 🙂
Happy reading x