20 Things I Have Learned In 2020
This has been an interesting year for everyone, including myself. I lost many people in my life that I felt like would be a part of it for years. I got rid of toxic people in my life, and I spent a lot of time really trying to understand myself better as an individual.
This year has also been interesting, because I have learned many things about myself that I wouldn’t have probably learned otherwise. We all went through a global Pandemic which made life virtual and unpredictable… Many people lost their jobs and have been affected by this Pandemic, (so in no way shape or form) am I sharing these things to seem arrogant or to seem like a victim whatsoever…
I personally just want to share these things because I feel like it could help a few people, so here are 20 things that I have learned in 2020:
God comes first.
At a young age, I was always pretty religious. (Also, if you aren't religious, I'm not trying to offend you, this is just something that I have learned this year. I'm also not trying to force my beliefs onto you, we have all been raised differently, and I completely respect that!) However, I sort of lost touch with spirituality and religion my Freshman year of University. I was that shy, scared typical freshman and I struggled with confidence issues. I was also in a really toxic relationship at the time, and I never really took the time to read scripture or do anything like that my Freshman year. It wasn’t until I joined a few ministries on campus that I began to absorb myself spiritually more (and I actually have thankfully started reading my Bible in public!) above all things, I learned that you will have stress, but God has a plan for you, and you are here for a reason. Idolizing celebrities and other figures in society is not a good idea, and we should instead look to God as an example and he should really be our only example throughout our lives.
2. Social media isn’t worth it.
If I’m being completely honest, I struggle with confidence issues. I sometimes have low self esteem, and I also constantly compare myself to other girls to the point where I feel like it's unhealthy to do so. I felt like I had to be fake to gain followers, and I was being judged so much by people where I felt (almost) uncomfortable posting certain things. I was also receiving death threats by random people that didn’t even know me, and I honestly felt lost and misunderstood. I realized that at the end of the day, social media really doesn’t matter. What you are seeing someone post online is filtered and looks perfect… people really only post their highlight reels on their social media outlets and I became so annoyed with constantly being depressed and making comparisons that I just needed to (honestly) take a step back.
3. Some people are only in your life for a certain time amount, and it’s okay to let people go.
4. Life is too short to worry about what other people think.
I posted a few things on social media that (kind of) blew up I guess. I posted a Tik Tok criticizing the antisemites in Congress and a few other people that I felt were bad for America, and I was obliterated in the comments by people on Tik Tok telling me I should slit my throat or that I should even disgustingly hang myself, or that because I was supporting Israel I was supporting an “apartheid state”, I was called a racist and a white supremacist, and I was ripped apart about my appearance. (This didn’t just stop on Tik Tok) HUNDREDS of messages then transferred to my Instagram as well of random people telling me that they hope I get shot in the head for my political views, and I even received random messages from people on Instagram from my own University who wanted to post my address so that people could come to my house and attack me (and yes, this was all because I posted a Tik Tok going after hypocritical people in politics, and the antisemites infiltrating the U.S. Congress and national politics and government). For years, I’ve struggled with caring about what the outside opinion thinks of me… I cared so much about what random people on the internet thought of me that my self esteem began taking a pretty big toll this year… Every time I would check Instagram, I felt like I was being bombarded with hate comments and death threats, all because I posted something about an issue that I’m extremely passionate about (which is preserving and protecting the United States-Israel relationship, advocating for peace in the Middle East, and combating antisemitism and religious persecution). This made me begin to question whether I was doing the right thing, or if I was even doing anything right (if that even makes sense). At the end of the day, I learned that the opinions of strangers don't matter. I know who I am as a person, and so do my friends and family. If someone is picking on your appearance instead of having anything basically relevant to say during a debate, those mean remarks don’t reflect you, it reflects the person that made the remarks instead. For whatever reason, people will root for you to fail. It's not because of anything you said or did, as a matter of fact, it has nothing to do with you at all. It's not your problem, it's theirs. Their reaction to you is likely not something you said or did, it's their own issue, so don’t let negativity get to you or get to your heart, just keep working on the things that you are passionate about, and (honestly) the rest will fall into place. Another thing that I learned this year is that the people who are negative and mean towards you (especially strangers online) ARE DEFINITELY NOT WORTH AGONIZING OVER, and (if you do unfortunately spend your time agonizing over them) that is pretty much time that you’ll never really get back. Even throughout history as well, the (now) most well known and successful people have been told they can’t achieve their goal or dream, so don’t listen- and just keep doing your thing.
5. Not everything should be political.
We live in an age where everything is politicized… from watching Netflix, to who you vote for in an election, award shows, social media posts, etc. Not everything you do has to be about politics. Politics is toxic and it’s okay to take a break from it once and a while and focus on real life things. (You also don’t have to always have an opinion on current events, you can keep those opinions to yourself I promise. Not everything always has to be public).
6. Participating in activities that fuel your brain is not something you should be ashamed of.
Since I was really little, I’ve had a massive love of books and reading. At a young age, I was teased a lot for my love of books. While many of my classmates at my old school were partying, I spent my Friday nights in my room with a cup of tea and a blanket reading a book. I was that kid in fifth grade who would sit in the back of the class reading a chunky historical biography. While my peers in Elementary School were dressing up on Halloween as Cowboys or Fairies, I dressed up like Cleopatra 3 years in a row. I wasn’t a typical kid, and I was often a little embarrassed for my love of books and reading because it wasn’t really a “normal” hobby among my peers. I realized now that you can’t be ashamed about your hobbies or the things that you are passionate about because we all have a purpose, and if we all were the same or interested in the same things, then things (in my opinion) would be boring.
7. High School isn’t the end of the world.
Unfortunately, there was a point where I personally felt like I didn’t see the light. I was bullied a lot in high school, and I transferred schools my senior year (my mother also got a new job as well). Looking back, since I graduated in 2019, I wish I could’ve told myself that there’s more beyond the 4 years of High School that you go through. You don’t always have to fake and suppress emotions and how you are feeling. People are pretty immature during High School, and you have to realize that there’s life beyond it that indeed takes place.
8. It’s important to start taking care of yourself now.
Financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically, you need to take care of yourself. I’ve found that the earlier you start taking care of your body and eating healthy, and having good relationships with your body will really help you out a lot in the long run.
9. You’re going to feel confused.
Once you start to realize that not everyone knows what they are going to do after graduation, you sort of start to feel a little relaxed. And, I’m still in College, I don’t have my whole life figured out as well, and that’s totally okay to realize to be honest!
10. Dreams require sacrifice- not everything in life will be handed to you.
It’s important to note that if you have big dreams, those big dreams will require sacrifice. What that means is that in order to live your dream life, you will have to sacrifice a few things in order to try and live the life that you dream of.
11. Don’t make excuses, APOLOGIZE.
12. Embrace failure.
The most successful people in the world and throughout history have failed and made mistakes. Failing is what success is built on, so embrace that and don’t fear it. This year, I got involved with a few things that I found were not my thing… I found that journalism just isn’t for me, and I failed at writing a few things that weren’t very good, however, I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I’ve learned so much about myself and I’ve found what I want to do for the rest of my life, and I found that that’s personally okay. If you fail, it basically means you’re doing things- and, the more that you take risks, and the more that you make hard decisions, the closer you basically are to success.
13. DON’T GIVE UP!!!!
Another thing that successful people have in common is that they never ever give up on the things that they are passionate about. Actors get told no more times then they are told yes… You never know how close you are to the next opportunity or even the next breakthrough- so (especially in my experience) keep grinding. If you apply for something and you don’t get the position, apply the next year. If you’re struggling with school, keep going, get all of the help you possibly can. If you’re struggling getting hired for a job, keep applying. If you fail to get into law school or medical school, study harder, and then apply the next year. (Reminding you that Abraham Lincoln had to teach himself the BAR exam). Don’t ever give up on things, because you never know what could possibly happen.
14. Things don’t work out for a reason.
Rejection hurts at the moment, but don’t allow it to define you. Some day, you’ll find that not getting that job or position will make you happy that it didn’t work out, because something or someone better can come along.
15. Start saving up money ASAP
Practicing good finances and saving your money will really help you in the long run.
16. You and your friends will change.
This year, I’ve made drastic changes about myself and my life, and so have my friends. Sometimes I felt like my friends and I were going in the same direction, and sometimes I felt very alone as well. This year, I realized that most relationships are not built to last a lifetime; they're meant to help form and shape who you are as a person. It’s heartbreaking at times, because you’re growing apart from people you thought were going to be a part of your life for a very long time, but then you grow apart. It takes a lot more work to see and spend time with friends, and at times you will realize they're not willing to put in the effort. You can not assume people will care for you the way you care for them, but you can adjust your expectations and your level of attachment. You will find your tribe, you just have to make room in your life for them by not prioritizing people who are not prioritizing you.
17. Eliminate negative and toxic people.
Life is way too short to keep people in your life that don’t care about you, or who aren’t putting in a good amount of effort to be in your life. It’s important to learn how to not waste your time with people trying to feel better about themselves by trying to tear you down as a person. If people aren’t making you feel good about yourself, it’s time for you to move on. In August of this year, I joined a sorority. After joining the sorority, I made it very clear that I wanted to go into politics. In September, I was called into a disciplinary meeting about my posts on social media… a few of the girls stated that they felt my posts were putting them in physical and mental grave danger, and a few girls were even going around the sorority house claiming I was a member of the KKK and some even went around and called me antisemitic slurs as well. I was also trying my hardest to get along with this one girl in my pledge class who tried making my life miserable because of my political views. Finally, one night I tried to be the bigger person and I called her on the phone asking her if we could try and put politics aside and be friends (BIG MISTAKE). This made her angry, and she brought her parents into the phone call and they began to threaten me, saying things like, “I wish your mother aborted you”, “I don’t know if you’re Jewish, but if you are I hope all your family members died during the holocaust”, “I hope someone shoots you in the head with your own gun for being Conservative” and they even said I was brainwashed by my parents because of my political views, and the girl even said that I was just “some blonde Republican bimbo who’s political beliefs will develop more liberal as I grow older and less stupid”. I was also then continually blasted and censored by a few girls in my sorority who believed that I don’t have a right to speak up because of my political beliefs. And, even after posting a video on election day on Snapchat trying to ask for kindness and respect towards one another regardless of the election results, I was forced by the sorority to take down the post because a few girls in the sorority said that my video “incited violence, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia and anti-semitism” as well. I was also repeatedly called into disciplinary meetings where I was censored on social media repeatedly for my political views after the girls in the meeting said they “weren’t trying to censor me” (even though they were censoring me). I finally had to think to myself whether being in this sorority was even worth it- (and it totally wasn’t!) I didn’t feel like I was apart of a sisterhood, and I didn’t feel like I could really ever be myself around these girls and I didn’t feel supported AT ALL, so I left and that was the BEST decision I have ever made! So, (honestly) take from my example, because what I learned this year basically comes from a quote that says, “God removes certain people from your life because he heard conversations that you didn’t want to hear” - Anonymous.
18. Spend LESS TIME staring at a SCREEN.
You don’t need to post everything that you are doing. Don’t merely record your life, (instead) be more present to experience it. (My most precious and exciting and even some of the happiest moments that I’ve had thus far in my life have been when I didn’t press record or post on my social media outlets).
19. Know you’re enough.
I spent a little bit of this year feeling alone and I like I was failing at everything; my career, being a good friend, being a good partner, a good person, etc. Just know that you're enough as a person, and as long as you're on a path that will fully realize your potential and your dreams, know you're exactly where you should be, and doing everything you need to be doing.
20. Love yourself first.
Finally, At the end of the day, you are going to bed every night as an individual. You are your own person, and someone can’t love you until you try and take the time to love yourself first.