2020 Expectations Vs. Reality


Photo by Cece Brisbois

Photo collage of a few of the many things that contributed to 2020

Cece Brisbois, Staff Writer

   “Happy New Year!” A celebratory phrase used by many on Jan 1, 2020 at midnight. As we departed from 2019, many people spent their night with friends and family, laughing and celebrating the survival of another year. No one could have predicted what the upcoming year would entail. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone that a global pandemic, murder hornets, and the political uproar that our country experienced in the past year, was a far cry from what we were expecting for 2020. 

        Concerts, family gatherings, school without masks; these normal activities seemed like they’d be a given in 2020. What could possibly change? Expectations for the year for me were the usual: getting to spend lots of time with my friends, going to Six flags and a Jack Johnson concert, having school in person every day, getting to participate in sports and other activities, and being able to see my family on Thanksgiving. These assumptions of what would happen in 2020 made me realize how grateful I am for large gatherings, and having no need for facial accessories needed to go to the supermarket.

       We have experienced a lot of ups and downs this year, starting in March with the closure of school, for the assumed length of two weeks, which was later extended to the remainder of the school year. This was an unexpected change that I would be spending the end of my freshman year online. With the cancelation of many activities, from sports to prom, concerts and the shut down of almost everything; living in solitude was not the ideal way to spend 2020.

In May, streets that had been silent and barren for months were flooded with protesters after the murder of George Floyd. Unrest in Minneapolis took over every outlet of news on TV with peaceful protesters in some areas and some protesters clashing with police and burning down stores in revolt to urge the arrest of the cops and all others responsible for unfair deaths based on race. 

May was also the start of the spotting of Murder Hornets. These hornets from Japan are the biggest hornet discovered, with venomous and intense stings, that cause swelling and immense pain or death if stung multiple times. These bees also are a threat to other native bees who pollinate our flowers and wilderness. Murder Hornets can be described as a painful and invasive species.        

        Throughout the year we saw uproars of Australian wildfires and the deaths of many public figures including Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, basketball star Kobe Bryant and musician Eddie Van Halen. Not only did these awful occurrences happen, but political unrest and disagreements were at an all time high with the impeachment trial and presidential election. 

The impeachment trial, which started in December 2019 and lasted until February 2020, was where President Trump was accused of seeking help from Ukraine to re-elect him and asking them to start an investigation into Joe Biden, his opponent. Democrats and Republicans were split this year, as violence against others with different opinions erupted. Marches and rallies for each side and a very unorganized presidential debate contributed to the divide between neighbors and families as rights for abortions, LGBTQ, and minorities were threatened. 

While President Trump has alleged that voting in some states was rigged,  Democrat Joe Biden was elected with more votes than any presidential candidate in history. We also have the privilege to see the first woman and African American Vice President, Kamala Harris, which was a historic moment for all women in America. 

      Through all the hardships this year it’s good to remember all that we did enjoy in 2020 and the positive moments and memories we will carry with us to the New Year. Quarantine opened our eyes to new activities and provided us with extra time to spend with our immediate family. I got the opportunity to experience events like virtual museums from the comfort of my own home. Artists dropped surprise albums, and held concerts all online. Not only did we get to enjoy these simple pleasures, we also saw change in our society this year. The biggest voter turnout in 120 years happened in 2020. From the protests for Black Lives Matter we began to see changes. Officers were held accountable and arrested, statues were torn down, police reform was spurred into action, and Juneteenth was finally recognized and celebrated as the day the Emancipation Proclamation passed in all states. 

As the year comes to a close we can look back and remember the ups and downs of this crazy year, all the expected and unexpected moments, and only hope that 2021 is better. Personally, what I’ve learned this year is how important it is to stand together and appreciate the little things in life, and I am forever grateful to 2020 for teaching me that.