At midnight on the 31st of December, as the clock strikes 12 and messages like “Wishing you and your family a very happy new year" fill our phones. 2020 was just another year for us. After a couple of months passed by, awareness about "COVID-19" was spread which was followed by a complete lockdown. It taught us the flip side of life, in many ways.

Along with that, it also made us understand the value of our lives. This pandemic has taught us this lesson in a rather hard way.

We have shared motivational quotes and WhatsApp forwards with everyone we know, to educate them about the importance of living life in the moment. Not many of us do that we just go along with our respective monotonous routines. Nine months have passed by and out of that, six months just flew in trying to stay home to stay safe. The idea of slowing down just hit us in those six months; we were all too busy chasing our dreams before that. We used to fight and get into random arguments with each other, we only stopped to catch our breath! During these six months, while we had to digitally interact, the thought of taking care of others struck us hard.

But if from another point of view, we sit down and think about this, we see that 2020 has already taught us many precious lessons. This year pulled everyone out of their comfort zones, we were challenged to make our skills and abilities more prominent, and particularly to understand how challenging social alienation is in our society.

We have all come out a lot smarter, wiser, more enduring, and more active due to the pandemic. In times of struggle, society must remain together and collaborate in resolving all the challenges. We are all in this together. This pandemic has given us an optimum opportunity for self-development not only in academics but also in other areas.

Taking the author's example; post-pandemic, the only cooking I knew was cooking Maggi but after the lockdown, I can make biryani and lots of other dishes. It is not only about cooking, a lot of people have acquired quite a few skills which now make them happy.

The year 2020 has helped us understand how to take care of ourselves. Now, everybody is living their lives more hygienically and healthily. The last six months have changed us for better or worse. The values that we have learned – about fitness, endurance, culture and our common heritage as Indians are lessons that hopefully we will continue to retain all our lives.

On a simpler note, we can say that this pandemic has brought out all the skills which were kept hidden. More commonly, we have seen cooks, dancers, and authors who are also doctors, engineers, or business people who take time out for their hobbies. It's as if we figured out our passions. At the end of the day, all that counts is spending time with family and discovering our areas of interest.

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