5 Things From 2020 I Want to Keep in 2021

5 Things From 2020 I Want to Keep in 2021

2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year – there is no other way to describe it. Our routines were turned upside down, schools closed, businesses went out of business, cities burned in protest, and above all, the pandemic raged across the planet.

I will shed many happy tears at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, as we end this crappy year and start a new one.

But… there are some things from this year – this new normal – that I want us to keep. Not most of it – that can go in the trash. But there were some changes this year that I think we should hold onto in 2021.

5 Things From 2020 I Really Want to Keep in 2021

kep in 2021

Discussions of mental health 

While mental health has been getting discussed more, I feel that 2020 was the year it made the mainstream. The radical changes to our lives brought many mental health challenges – and we talked about them.

Comfortable clothes

I now have an extensive collection of leggings, joggers, and wireless bras. Do we really need to go back to uncomfortable clothes? Or wearing makeup? I’m not saying that PJs should become the new office norm, but I think it’s time to relax some of those arbitrary standards.

Also, let’s talk about school dress codes, many of which are sexist and ignore the realities of living in poverty.

Flexible schedules

Many workplaces have realized having workers coming in the office from 9-5 Monday through Friday isn’t actually necessary. Gasp! Employees (and students) can work successfully from home? During non-traditional hours? Yes, we can. Now let us.

Human connection

When you go an entire week without seeing anyone outside of your own home, chatting with your neighbor (socially distanced, of course) becomes the highlight of your day. We formed a little pod with our neighbors this last summer and it kept me sane. Really.

My friends and I met through text chains and Zoom this year – and they became precious to me. Never before have we realized just how important it is to have connections to others in our lives, even if we couldn’t meet in person.


I think a lot of white people woke up to the reality of being non-white this year. This has led to so many necessary (and overdue) conversations in so many places. 

As a history teacher, I have thought a lot about how to change the way I teach to more accurately reflect the realities of the past. (I have resources for parents and teachers here!)

We have SO far to go on this issue, but I feel like this was a breakthrough year. Let’s keep the momentum going!

What changes from 2020 do you want to keep in 2021? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: How to Reflect on This Strange School Year, Resources for Talking to Teens About Race & Racism, Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Teens

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