Lessons Learned in 2020
Updated: Jan 4
Reflecting on 2020
This year we collectively faced one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging year of our lives. Through these challenges, we found many opportunities to learn. Although some of our experiences have been similar, we probably learned some different lessons. I decided to end the year by reflecting on what we have gained. I asked some Sympol team members and my Instagram followers to share what they learned this year. We would love to hear some of the lessons you learned too! Feel free to add on in the comment section below.
Khalid - Founder - fourth-year medical student
This year I learned life is short, and it can change on a dime – don’t take it for granted. Be grateful for what you have and take care of the people closest to you. Relationships are more important than material influence.
Will - Founder
Life is very precious, and we shouldn’t take our loved ones, family, friends, and community for granted. Humans are the most important things in the world. We must always treat them as such.
The continual pursuit for improvement combined with persistence and determination are fundamental for success.
Surrounding yourself with those with a winning and growth mindset is important. Relying on your teammates' strengths is essential.
America’s democracy is as strong as ever as this year's electoral process and outcome demonstrate.
Max - Founder
The real lesson I learned is that everyone has a vice they use to cope. Also, taxes are a lot.
Taylor - Marketing - I write our blogs (:
I learned many lessons this year, so I will try to summarize the essence of a few. First of all, you may have an idea of where you are going, but we never truly know what will happen. Because of this, we shouldn’t hold onto plans rigidly. What you think you want may not be what is best for you, and you need to be flexible to see reroutes as positives.
How happy you are is relative to your gratitude. A scarcity and fear-based mindset will leave you defeated. Even in the darkest of days, we can choose to uplift ourselves by showing gratitude. Journaling helped me a lot with this one!
Our communities keep us safe. The loving nature of humanity will be the force that protects us. Unfortunately, a large portion of our country would not aid in protecting our people. However, masses have come together this year to support one another. I have seen more activism taking place this year than ever before. Mutual-aid organizations in my community are popping up left and right as we realize our need to support each other.
Aisa - Marketing - fourth-year medical student
I learned the importance of believing in yourself and appreciating your accomplishments. Imposter Syndrome is real and it has so many negative effects. It’s important to acknowledge your work and know you deserve all the success you’ve worked for.
“I learned to let go. Don’t let the little things destroy you.”
Some of you learned some excellent new skills like how to knit and how to use Microsoft Excel. There are some common themes found in the lessons learned. The most common shared lesson is the importance of letting go. Many of us, myself included, realized that we can’t let the little things destroy us. Letting go frees us from so much pain. Another common lesson is that we can find happiness at home. The American culture highly values going out to socialize, eat at restaurants, and go to bars. This experience has been an opportunity to learn to appreciate the fun that can be had at home. One good note is to put care into your environment. Spending so much time at home reminded us how important it is to create a cozy living space.
“I learned to love my body. I gained weight during quarantine, and that was hard.”
We gained some weight from our quarantine snacking and gym closures. These changes forced us to be gentle with ourselves and try loving our bodies regardless of our weight. Self-love and acceptance is a lifelong practice. Loving your body can take a lot of emotional work and learning. I am personally very proud of anyone who’s feeling good about themselves right now! Let me know if you need a personal hype woman because I am here for it!
“Everything is a reflection of the state of your inner being” and “perspective is everything.”
These are the deep-thought winners. Sit with this for a minute.
“True friendship can absolutely run deeper and mean more than family bonds.”
This year has been challenging for all types of relationships. Family members have been tested by differing political ideologies and varying COVID-19 opinions. True friendships can be the most supportive and fulfilling relationships in our lives. I believe we can have a family of our creation with our friends.
“Being alone isn’t scary if you stay proactive and do things that you love.”
This one resonates with me. I imagine many other people have learned this one too. This year we spent a lot of time alone, and even if you don’t live alone, you still could have experienced loneliness. Time spent alone can be the most productive time. I found strength in healing my loneliness through time spent connecting with myself. I appreciate having alone time to focus on the things I love, like writing!
“Make sure to let people know how much you love them.”
Have you found yourself showing more love this year? I certainly have. My dad calls his mother more frequently. As Khalid said, we need to appreciate and care for the people we love. This year served as a wake-up call to question who we love and who loves us. Odds are, you have gained some clarity on who your real best friends are, if your romantic relationship is healthy, or if you can depend on your family members for support. Whoever made it through the year by your side deserves some extra love. We all deserve some extra love. Make sure you give love while you can.
So long, 2020!
What a year to start a company! 2020 has been full of ups and downs, all bringing lessons. Thank you to those who shared their lessons with us, and thank you to those who support Sympol. We are closing out 2020 with hearts full of gratitude. See you in the new year!