STAFF OPINION: Keep your head up

You've achieved more this year than you realize

By Joslin Torres | December 3, 2020 5:26pm

Joslin Torres is a sports reporter for The Beacon. Photo courtesy of Joslin Torres.

As the end of the year approaches, I’m sure a lot of us have thought about how 2020 has been a year full of uncertainty and anxiety about the current state of things. 

As a senior, I understand it’s definitely been difficult to remain positive with everything going on right now. I initially pictured this year as one spent with friends enjoying the time we all had left on campus and being excited about plans after graduation. With the end of the semester approaching, I know I haven’t performed the best academically, and I find myself getting more worried about what comes next. 

Between Zoom burnout, social isolation, COVID-19 and the political turmoil our country is in, how could we not be affected by the state of things? This time has put a strain on everybody, and amidst all the chaos going on, students still have to worry about turning in assignments, maintaining their grades, studying for upcoming finals and completing everything before the semester ends. A lot of us are struggling with our mental health and it’s completely understandable if school feels like the least of your worries and you find it difficult to stay motivated. 

The odds have been stacked against us this year, so I say give yourself credit for just getting through it all. I think through these experiences, there’s been some comfort knowing we’re all going through the same hardships. I’ve found inspiration through all the things my peers have been able to achieve which has helped keep me grounded this year by reminding me what’s really important in life.

I’ve seen people become active members in their community and speak out on issues, in turn inspiring others and myself to take a more active role. The Beacon has been working to keep the UP community informed despite the lack of transparency and information from the administration. I’ve seen various student leaders and members of UP demand better from leadership, seek out change and take a stance on serious issues that affect their lives and the lives of those around them. 

Reading Beacon articles and scrolling through social media has told me that we’re all feeling a lot of the same things right now. Sure, I miss having chats in the hallways about what’s going on in classes and the highs and lows that students all experience throughout the year. But even though I miss seeing other UP students face to face, I think this year has opened up the floor for some really important conversations. There’s been a shift from mundane questions like how are your classes going, to deeper ones concerning mental health, institutional racism and accountability. These types of conversations are long overdue and hearing UP students voice their opinions on these matters makes me more optimistic about the future. 

2020 has been a tough year, so when you get overwhelmed, try to remind yourself of everything you’ve accomplished and look towards others for support and inspiration when you need to. Instead of focusing on the ways I’ve felt I’ve been lacking this year, I’m trying to shift my appreciation towards things I’ve been able to accomplish and so should you. Completing college is a big accomplishment and just because we’re not in-person this year doesn’t mean it’s something to be diminished. If we can still work towards our degree and adapt to life in the middle of a global pandemic, then I know we’re capable of adapting to whatever change happens again in the future. 

Joslin Torres is a sports reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at

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