2020 Reflection: The Unprecedented Year

As 2020 comes to a close, Woodbridge students and staff take a moment to reflect on the year and their 2021 resolutions


Corina Silverstein

Nichole LaPeer was able to start healthy habits in 2021.

Nichole LaPeer, Spanish Teacher

Q: With ten words or less, how would you describe 2020?

A: “2020 has been long and hard.”

Q: The pandemic has undoubtedly affected everyone in different ways. How has COVID-19 affected you?

A: “Luckily, and knock on wood, my family has been ok. I did have some relatives [who] became ill with the virus in Spain, but they are OK. The hardest for me was losing all of my freedom. I could not go to yoga, see my friends and family or even just go out for dinner. That made it really hard. Also, I am a mom and cooking and cleaning constantly all day was really hard. I am much more appreciative of things like daycare and the parks. I used to hate going to the park and now I go every day.”

Q: Despite an unprecedented year, what positive moments came out of 2020?

A: “I was able to start running, which I have never been able to do since I can remember. I’m up to four miles about three to four times a week. Also, I got creative with different recipes and ingredients. I did get more time with my kids, which I know was hard but also won’t always be the case.”

Q: What will you miss and not miss from this year?

A: “I guess I will miss having the time to go for a run and to cook new things, but I will not miss distance learning. Distance teaching, distance kindergarten, teaching my classes and teaching kindergarten was very hard and made me feel like a failure in both. Being online and teaching in this new environment is challenging for everyone.”

Q: What are you looking forward to in 2021 and what are your new year’s resolutions?

A: “I am not sure what I am looking forward to in 2021. I am not sure that we will be out of the woods so soon…that might sound pessimistic, but I guess I am optimistically cautious.”

Golsa Rahbari, Junior

Rahbari has had a whirlwind junior year and is looking ahead to the future.

Q: With ten words or less, how would you describe 2020?

A: “It’s like riding a roller coaster with no destination.”

Q: Before this year started, what were your 2020 goals and what were you looking forward to this year?

A: “Before 2020 started, I was really hoping to use spring and summer to improve my skills in basketball. I was also hoping to focus more on school as outside events had taken my attention away. But when 2020 started, my whole plan changed.”

Q: The pandemic has undoubtedly affected everyone in various ways. How has COVID-19 affected you, both personally and as a junior?

A: “I think the hardest thing for me was to deal with the problems I had separate from COVID-19. People started saying that every trouble was because of Corona and that everyone was going through it which made dealing with my problems harder. I also feel [that] coming into junior year, which is such an important year, I lost motivation which I’m sure many can relate to.”

Q: What will you miss and not miss from this year?

A: “I will miss hanging out with my old friends and going on crazy adventures. The downside to online friends it’s that you can never have a real life experience unless you see them. I definitely won’t miss the stress I went through in January for basketball, things outside of school and all the other hectic things.”

Q: What are you looking forward to in 2021 and what are your new year’s resolutions?

A: “Hopefully…everyone can find ways to make themselves happy and motivated because I know how hard this past year has been. I think that we need to overthink less and try to enjoy what we have at the moment.”

Safia Rahman, Freshman

Rahman is looking forward to change and is hopeful for what is to come in new year.

Q: With ten words or less, how would you describe 2020?

A: “Exhausting, overwhelming, diverse, ineffable, apocalyptic, entanglement, unpredictable, transformation, fortitude and rollercoaster.”

Q: Especially since this is your first year of high school, how did the pandemic affect your freshman year? What were your expectations of high school prior to the pandemic?

A: “Well, I can tell you that doing it online is totally a different experience. I haven’t really experienced high school traditionally or the way it is supposed to go. But, I am used to change by now, so I really don’t mind how it is. I mean, school honestly is so boring right now, and it seems more like a chore than actual learning, if I’m being honest. I always expected high school to be like the high school in the movies like “High School Musical,” [where there is] that one bully/popular person and then everyone else… I just figured high school would be grand, hard, depressing, amazing and disappointing all at the same time. Just two clashing feelings all at the same time, and I guess I am experiencing it right now through online school, except without all the fun stuff and mainly the depressing stuff.”

Q: Despite an unprecedented year, what positive moments came out of 2020?

A: “I wouldn’t say I had it better than others but, I did get to meet my cousin, [who is] the same age as me, this summer in Texas. Then, in September she came over to drop off our grandma so that was fun. Earlier when distance learning started in April and May, I started playing games with my cousin in Georgia, [who is a] grade above me, [but] that didn’t last for so long. When the Silverado Fire started [on] Oct. 26, I experienced another natural disaster where I had to evacuate for the sake of my grandma, [which] was interesting to experience. Recently, my dad’s cousin got married, so we attended their wedding through Zoom, of course, which was pretty interesting to experience. I would consider myself fortunate than others because I had the opportunity to enjoy a few moments [during the pandemic] but, the moments I had were short periods of time. I would not say I had it better than others because I dealt with a couple of bumps along the way and, [I] still am, but I feel grateful enough to face the positive moments I had. I am still happy for what I got to experience, so [I] can’t say anything bad about that.”

Q: What are you looking forward to in 2021?

A: “Honestly, I am looking forward to moving and experiencing change. All my life I moved, I never really had friends for so long until now and I like to explore rather than just staying in one spot forever. For next year, I just hope to honestly make it through the school year. I also hope to improve my photography skills and make myself known for something.”

Q: What is one big takeaway from 2020?

A: “For me, I guess, ‘the past is the past, you can’t change it no matter what so it’s better to forget and move on.’ Of course, for everyone, it is different, but this [quote] relates to me the most.