College can be a stressful time. Now add a pandemic, take away bonfires and getting to see your classmates in person, add even more discussion boards and online quizzes than normal and you’ve got college in 2020...and we haven’t even made it to finals week.

2020 has been a weird, and sad, year. Things we were looking forward to cancelled. We’re scared of getting sick. We’re scared of what our future will look like. And I think we could all use a little hope.

Hope takes shape in many forms. For me, that was dashing around my apartment at 2 a.m. on Nov.1 putting up Christmas decorations, and binging “Merry, Happy, Whatever,” with my roommates when it was actually daylight. We then put up our Christmas tree. And you know what? Looking at my Christmas tree brings me hope. It reminds me there’s still beauty in the world. It reminds me I have people in my life who love me enough to help me put up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving because it makes me happy.

Maybe hope looks a little different to you. Maybe when you have a bad day, you prefer to binge watch “The Office,” or “Friends,” or even “Barbie Dreamhouse.” You like knowing exactly what’s going to happen. You like the familiarity of the characters, who are almost like friends. You like that some problems can be solved in only 30 minutes, bathroom breaks included.

Let people do what makes them happy, even if it seems weird or stupid to you. People always need light; but this year especially, people should be free to do what makes them happy, free of judgment. Just because you don’t like a song, movie or not abiding by some made up rules about when we can and can’t do certain things doesn’t mean everyone else has to. Do what brings you hope, no matter what that looks like, no matter how old you are. You’re never too old to look for light.

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