2020: A Year To Remember

David stands outside on campus.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

David standing outside the freshman dorms.
Author David Malomo on campus.

2020 … a year of missing stars, murder hornets, Kobe Bryant’s passing, Chadwick Boseman’s (Black Panther) passing and many, many more.

This year has been filled with so many ups and downs that it has easily become one of the hardest years for a lot of people. According to the CDC, COVID 19 has infected 6.9 million people so far and has taken the lives of 216,000* people in the United States alone.

My first experience with the virus was one night in mid-February; my friends and I were all sitting around talking and laughing about basketball, unaware of what was to come. Days prior, whispers of schools shutting down were quickly moving through university, but since we were not affected yet we did not really understand what was going on.

Until we got the news that the NBA (National Basketball League) had suspended its season indefinitely. I know it might not seem like it was a big issue, but for sophomores in college who played and watched basketball almost every day, this was BIG news. We did not really understand that this was just the beginning of what was to come.

Everything else happened so fast that I could not really catch my breath. All I knew was that one day I was back home taking Organic Chem 2 in the living room of my home while my mom was making food in the kitchen. 

David leaning against the Campbell Library pillar.

As a student, having your life change so drastically in the midst of all that was happening was one of the most stressful things to ever happen to me. Having to stay home and do nothing for hours except eat, sleep, watch TV and maybe go get groceries — then repeat the same thing the next day —was a big struggle, a struggle that millions of students all over the world have been going through. I was left with thoughts, decisions and problems that I had avoided for months and now, I had to face them head-on before they ate me alive. Waking up in the morning, getting out of bed, finding something productive to do became a struggle.

But we all got through it, we pushed on and made the impossible possible.

Even though this pandemic lifestyle is starting to become normal, the struggles of one’s life changing so drastically, almost losing one’s identity and not knowing who we are anymore are still very real struggles that we all deal with in our everyday lives. But we will push on; this is the time that we use to grow and discover new things about ourselves. This is the time when we grow closer to our families and fix relational mistakes that were made years ago. This is the time when we grow as brothers, sisters, friends and good people. This is the time that we rediscover picnics and taking walks in the park and taking the time in our day to just breath and fully live in the moment. 

According to an article from John Hopkins Medicine, mindfulness can reduce stress and you do this by sitting quietly and just focusing on your breathing and enjoying the moment.

We as a generation are a different breed, we are not like those before us, we do things differently and that is OK. We have been through a lot, but we are still here, fighting and causing change in our everyday lives. And as long as we do not give up or quit on ourselves, we will continue to grow stronger each and every day.

* as of publishing date

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Story by:
David Malomo, junior biological sciences major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Citation: 

McGuire, Joseph F. “Stressed About COVID-19? Here’s What Can Help.” Stressed About COVID-19? Here’s What Can Help | Johns Hopkins Medicine, John Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/stressed-about-covid19-heres-what-can-help. 



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