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20 things we learned in 2020

2020 is a year of many things. But what have we learned? Especially, what have our next generation, young men and women learned during the time of quarantine and online school? I asked them the question and below are their answers, sorted by their first name. 

We learned to unite against challenges – Aiden Wen

This almost seems a cliche, but facing challenges is something we never learn enough of, never be perfect at. Even more, this year gave us more of a challenge than any of us expected. This year has brought many of us our first major global crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic. As time passed, we learned that everyone matters. Everyone can make a difference. We learned to unite as humans, and fight. Even better, we are not fighting amongst ourselves as much (did Among Us become popular because we were dying to do so?). Fighting challenges is not something you can learn in a classroom, it is something you must learn by doing it for real. To grow, you face challenges. I don’t know about you, but I think that we’ve grown a lot this year. 

We learned to be grateful for what we have – Aiden Wen

Remember when we were fussing over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving the royal family? Or when Great Britain left the European Union? Maybe even the California Fires and Kobe Bryant’s death? I know right? That seems so last year. As we moved on in the year, friends and family may have gotten sick, the economy broke, but above all, we felt extremely lonely. We envied our past so much, we should have been more thankful. But as the US education states, “Let them learn their own lesson.” We’ve all learned to be a little more grateful this year, I expect?

We learned to be creative – Aiden Wen

I spend much of my time in quarantine doing things that I would not have done had it not been for the fact that I’m stuck at home. I’ve made paper trash cans, drew word bubbles describing my feelings towards Canyon Vista Middle School, figured out how to set up my area so that my computer can point at my face, and much more! I’m confident to say that I have been creative, and I’m sure all of you are too! 

(What distinguishes us humans from a computer is the fact that humans can be creative, while computers cannot. It’s funny how we spend so much time with a computer during these times, yet we’ve gotten more creative, more unlike computers. )

We learned to spread hope and serve those in need, even these times – Catherine Tu

From donating 3D face shield masks to front-line workers that ACAN members made, to collecting and donating food necessities to the homeless through Bags of Hope, ACAN has been active even amongst the pandemic. Though we don’t know how long this pandemic will last, we know that there are others struggling throughout it and that we can help them. Relentless ACAN members working to help the ones in need through unprecedented times proved that ACAN will not stop trying to make our community better. Throughout Covid-19 we have also learned to feel grateful for all the blessings we have and spread those blessings to the less fortunate so they can feel hopeful and blessed as well. As we move into 2021 unsure of if the pandemic will continue, we know ACAN will continue to help others in need!

Being grateful for what we have and taking opportunities – Gloria Wu

Even though I kind of like online school more than in person school, being stuck in a house full of boys for months has made me really appreciate the chances that we had to get out of the house and hang out with friends. I’ve also learned that we shouldn’t take everything for granted. However, if living with a bunch of seniors have taught me anything, it’s that we should not pass up on the opportunities that have been given to us (not just for college applications, but in life in general).

Life must go on – Iris Chen

Everyone only has one life and it is to be spent at one time with no decision to pause. We have no control over whether we want to take a break from our seemingly forever stretching life, but have to keep going and powering through. Sometimes, I break down and think of everything and anything in the world that harms people and negatively makes people’s day. I think of the fact as I sit here, someone may be fighting death. It is all so sad, and sometimes I wish to be a little one with no comprehension of what is going on. As a world, we have adapted to what needs to be done to live and stay safe. Without a life, you cannot do anything. Fun is diminished, and your sense is gone. The Empty is where you are. You then belong nowhere, have no one and remember nothing. Everyone would much rather stay in this world, on earth, I believe! Similar to the phrase, “ The show must go on”, Life must go on too. 

Integrity can mean life or death  – Iris Chen

Doing the right thing, or doing what you think right is important. Especially during covid. People who do the right things and risk less, have a higher probability to be able to stay alive. Life is a chance and opportunity, and when faced with a daunting decision. Life should come first. As many educators and parents have told us, “ Safety first!” Those millions of people who have passed reflect how many wrong decisions were made and much regret is being felt. Integrity is extremely important. Life and death depend on it.  

Covid-19 defined who we are clearly, we have learned – Iris Chen

When put through stress, depression, and uncertainty, who we are show clearer than before. Do we act before we analyze? Do we depend on friends for answers? Do we get too scared and do nothing? How we act at the most crucial times reflect who we are inside and out. 

Even during a time of crisis, we have learned to stay optimistic. – Iris Chen

So many people have unfortunately lost loved ones and friends due to it. Even at one point, the President of the United States had it. Covid-19. That one word has negatively impacted our entire world. About 181 million have passed from this deadly disease and about 30 million Americans are unemployed at this time. So many horrible things, so what can we be optimistic about? First of all, if you’re reading this you probably have an internet connection, an electronic, and air to breathe. That’s already 3 things to be optimistic about! Keep thinking. You can come up with tons of things! You have food on the table for you and your family, you’re alive, you have friends and loved ones supporting you, you are being educated…… The list goes on forever. Be optimistic and cheer yourself up!  

Cooking (no, seriously) – Joshua Wu

I feel kinda lame talking about how I figured out how to cook things in 2020 compared to people talking about big topics and such but one thing I learned was actually how to cook. And I think that a lot of people probably did because they weren’t eating out as much so they actually had to work to get any food. In our house, we have a cooking schedule where everyone rotates every day helping my mom cook food and basically, my mom gives the ingredients and instructions, the rest you have to figure out. This also helps you be more responsible and helps you appreciate the people who cook food. 

Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way—don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. – Julia Fang

Although 2020 threw countless challenges our way, we were also given a chance to grow and learn. Given the extra amount of time, 2020 allowed many of us to step out of our comfort zones and seize opportunities to help the communities around us. From my perspective, I found that having/building self-confidence is crucial for taking on challenges and carrying them out successfully. It’s important to remember that time is of the essence, so every challenge is actually a new opportunity for growth.

The impact of perspective  – Michelle Liang

Despite the numerous challenges that this year brought, 2020 should also be viewed as a learning experience and a way for many of us to grow and open our eyes. Because of social distancing and the lack of social connections, many of us suffered and were forced to endure our personal hardships alone. However, being alone allowed us to better understand ourselves and focus on our own goals. In such times, it is easy to become pessimistic and see the world in a negative light, but viewing our situation through a more positive lens ultimately allows us to learn to appreciate the challenges this year brought and recognize our growth. 

It’s okay to focus on yourself – Michelle Liang

2020 ultimately forced us to distance ourselves from each other. This inevitable distance has personally led me into many broken connections and realizations. This year, I learned that in times of crisis, it is more important to focus on yourself rather than try to mend hopeless connections. 

Don’t take your blessings for granted – Michelle Liang

It’s easy to take things for granted, especially in a time of hardship where you are alienated from the rest of the world. We must remember to express our gratitude for the things we have and the people in our lives. 

People care about each other – Reyna Wang

With the increase in COVID cases in the US, our country has experienced more fatalities and devastation than most others. However, we’ve also seen innumerable acts of kindness from strangers all around the world, as people donate money, supplies, and time to help frontline workers and those most in need. I learned that while bad decisions can sometimes be made, in the end, most people truly want to help others as much as possible.

The importance of socialization – Reyna Wang

Because of social distancing guidelines, many of us haven’t been able to see our friends or relatives, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness. 2020 taught me that it’s important to keep in contact with others in order to manage our mental health.

Time management is critical – Reyna Wang

Staying at home all day without being able to go out often has taught me that it is really important to manage my time wisely. Because I don’t have as many activities that require me to go outside, I can spend more time doing the smaller things that I may have pushed off before. Managing my time is essential to maintaining a balanced life in my opinion.

Learned how to collaborate with people better – Tiffany

I’m always used to working alone, since quarantine, there’s not much time and opportunities to work on group projects. But because of ACAN, I was able to get a partner in the process of drafting an article and I really appreciate that.

I interviewed someone for the first time – Tiffany

I’ve never had the opportunity to interview people before, it’s always google form or someone else does it. But this time since I thought setting up an interview helps answer the questions I needed to answer in order to write the article, I interviewed Michelle and Wilson with Gloria, and it was a great experience.

I learned how to plan things out in a more proper way – Tiffany

I’ve never written articles before, I’ve only written persuasive paragraphs and essays at school. So it was challenging to plan things out. But the experience helped me learn the proper steps to draft an article.

I improved my social skills – Tiffany

Quarantine really puts some distance between me and the people I know, thus my social skills are declining because I was used to isolation, but this helped me to talk to more people and I really appreciate it. 🙂


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