Beyond 2020 pt7– U.S.

courtesy of Anjelica Song

Angelica Song, Korean-American Southern California, quarantined in Austin, Texas and will graduate this year from University California Berkeley .

So, according to you, how was this year universally impactful?

I think how lucky I am to be a college student with only those responsibilities to think of. There are front line hospital workers and essentials businesses risking their lives every day. So, it would be foolish of me to stand here and talk about how tough my life was in 2020.

In perspective of everything that happened, I was truly fortunate. Of course, there were lots of struggles and low points in 2020 as a college student.  We had to deal with “Zoom” university, internship/job stress, the lack of social interactions.

a therapeutic moment for me

Beyond all the downsides of the pandemic, I am extremely grateful that it has been a therapeutic moment for me.  For many others, I’m sure. Slowing your life down, no more FOMO, taking care of yourself. It also reminded me how fortunate I am.

My parents run a small business and although times got really slow. I was lucky to stay home and focus on school and work (social media creating). Another silver lining was that I got to live with my family again. Knowing I will graduate soon, this might be the last I ever spend this much time with them.

I will be working at a new job in a new city. I am thankful for a safe family home environment but know that’s not the case for everyone.  So, I am very grateful. I feel many people felt an immense wave of gratitude in 2020.

Any lessons?

Time is too precious. So many of us took it for granted before the pandemic.

Each person experienced the universal shock of their own personal way –we seemingly all went through highs and lows.

–– What specifically about the pandemic experience was the most challenging for you?

I was quarantined in a city where I didn’t know anybody. It not being my hometown, I didn’t have the comfort of driving by my friends’ houses just to wave or drop off coffee at their doorstep.

extremely isolated and lonely

There were times I felt extremely isolated and lonely. I also had started my social media journey as a creator and learned how draining that experience can be.

As a creator, you are always working brainstorming, creating, editing, emailing, finalizing, invoicing. In addition to the pressure to perform well: analytics, brand deals, and sponsorships can get pretty overwhelming. Again, these were all great problems to have.

I am very lucky to have been able to work and create from home.

–– In the bigger picture, do you think you needed 2020? did the experience of confinement, etc. allow for any personal realizations/ growth?

I don’t want to say that 2020 was needed.  A lot of people faced loss, suffering, and death this year. So no, I don’t think I would wish 2020 upon anyone or any generation. But it was a wakeup call for many whether about relationships, racial justice, socioeconomic inequalities, and more.

2020 exposed a lot of problems in society that may well have been there for decades – maybe even from the beginning of time. 2020 just accelerated a lot of things, things we may eventually have gotten to.

–– how has this unique year generally shaped you?

I learned to really value people and time. I also learned I need to let myself take a break.

need to be doing something

During the pandemic, I was productive at all times with my social media platforms taking off. I felt this need to be always doing something. But it also just caused so much burn out.

So now, I’m learning to pace myself better. This is something I’m working on because my personality is super type A and type 3 (enneagram test). We’re working on it.

If 2020 was a book, each chapter an account of one’s own personal experience of the year, what would be the title of your chapter? 

“Don’t Have to Be Productive All the Time.”

What’s a memory of yours from this year you hope to preserve forever?

Hanging out with my parents and eating dinner together as a family regularly — something I didn’t get while I was away in college.

How will you remember 2020 twenty years from now?

I will remember 2020 as a year of personal growth.

How will having lived 2020 impact the year to come— either in terms of new general normalcy or rather how you envision the effects on your own life post-pandemic?

I will never turn down an invite to go and hangout…  that’s for sure!

soak in my community

But, in all seriousness, I hope I am more intentional about the time I spend with others to let me appreciate and soak in the presence of my community — in real life.

About the Article

A  look at a college senior, creator, influencer who rode out the quarantine in Texas.

Beyond 2020 Intro

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