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Sara Cunningham
Sara Cunningham

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My 2020 Recap

As 2020 came to an end, there have been many ups and downs throughout the year. The beginning of the year was off to a good start. Everything looked positive and seemingly ordinary. I was traveling the world, attending in-person classes, going to college parties, and living the life of a 20-year-old. However, it all halted abruptly. In one week, the world came to a stop, and things I never thought twice about became unknown. I wrapped up the end of my junior year at home, which is now how I anticipated it to go.

Additionally, I had an internship lined up at the beginning of summer, which unsurprisingly got canceled. I didn’t know what I would do over the summer, but I knew I had to find something. Luckily my school posted some micro internships held virtually, and I jumped right on it. I was very fortunate to land two remote internships that taught me an immense amount about technology, user experience, research, and so much more. Not only did those internships prepare me for the workforce technically, but also mentally. Having a job and attending school are two completely different atmospheres. Both of the internships taught me how to preserve when I thought I knew nothing or was behind, be open to learning new ideas, and communicate with others on real-life projects.

During my internships, I realized the importance of networking. Connecting with other people can get you far in life, and having a valuable relationship with people is meaningful in an abundance of ways. I decided to reach out to alumni, past and present co-workers, and even strangers to talk to them about their careers. I wanted to get an insight into what they have done/are doing and how understanding their path that they paved for themselves. Through conversation, it opened my eyes to see what I might be interested in and where I would like to be down the line. As a rising senior, I knew that I had to be ready to go once the semester started, particularly since COVID has dramatically impacted the workforce. I immediately started attending career events, virtual coffee chats and connected with the recruiters. Sure enough, all of the work I put in over the summer paid off, and I landed a job that will begin after graduation.

Looking back at the year, there were a lot of things to be grateful for. Although some of my college time was taken away from me, I could access education online, which is not possible for some people. Additionally, I spent a lot of time with my family, which holds a special place in my heart. Being with them every day is not always easy and comes with some bickering, annoyance, and frustrations. However, I wouldn’t change any of it because it all came from a good place, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy some of the arguments. 2020 is now in the past, but it has had a significant impact on my life. Now all I can do is learn from the past and look forward to the future—goodbye 2020, and hello 2021.

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