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MIT student blogger Afeefah K. '21

20 Things I Learned In 2020 by Afeefah K. '21

from a course 20 who is in her 20s

*full disclosure: this post was mainly written for the title*

  1. We are so freaking capable of adapting to drastic life changes. It might not feel like it all the time, but we are resilient beings my friends.
  2. The people in your life should make your world bigger, not smaller. Enough said.
  3. There is a huge community of local mappers who chart out their neighborhoods and surroundings for data analysts all over the world to use. Cartography is still very much a thing.
  4. It’s okay to not be okay. Repeat after me: It’s okay to not be okay.
  5. There will always be someone I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to :(
  6. Oftentimes, there is a gap between intent and impact that can affect our relationships and communication. Intent is important, but it’s not everything. Constantly check in on the impact. (thanks 11.011)
  7. There’s no one way to measure productivity. Some days washing the dishes is high productivity. Other days, finishing an assignment is.
  8. “Callings” don’t exist, you just do the best with the circumstances you are in and create for yourself.
  9. My social circle really is a lot larger than I often perceive it to be.
  10. I will NEVER fully understand what other people are going through, but I sure can do my part in trying. A smile can go a long way.
  11. It is not my job to fix other people’s problems. Supporting and fixing can be mutually exclusive.
  12. Community is EVERYTHING. Like EVERYTHING.
  13. Hoodies also make for really great hijabs.
  14. I hate running, but I can get through short interval cardio and love strength training. Experiment with different forms of exercising until you find something that fits you.
  15. “Worrying means you suffer twice” – Newt Scamander
  16. Spontaneity is nice but it’s also nice to have routines. Gotta change things up but also keep some consistency.
  17. We as a society do not put enough thought, emphasis or resources into the social implications of innovations. How do we effectively distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to low-resource communities? How do we counter the economic and logistical burden of genetically-modified crops for a large chunk of the world’s farmers? What biases are absorbed into AI and ML algorithms?
  18. There are these little chemical compounds called esters that cause the aroma of fruits, veggies and spices. Crazy if you ask me.
  19. I need to stop associating rejection emails and failed applications with self worth. Like seriously Afeefah, stop.
  20. I have a lot to learn, but I also have a lot to unlearn. Implicit biases. Apparent biases.  Complacency.  Self-deprecation. The list goes on.
peace out

~ peace out 2020 ~