“Extra pocket money, attitude of gratitude,” and other silver linings from 2020

“Extra pocket money, attitude of gratitude,” and other silver linings from 2020

In a year marked with uncertainty, there’s one thing that never wavered – our commitment to students and their families. Through it all, we have remained resilient and hopeful for a better tomorrow. 

This December, we asked our UC community of students, parents, and colleagues to share one good thing that happened in 2020. Here are a few interesting responses. 🙂

1st Jan, 2020


2019, 2020, as the year gets older, the perspective to see things in a way also changes. I personally experienced a huge change in myself this year. The unfinished path to success I imagined, completed. As the market changes, the interest of the society changes as well. I want to be the one who changes the market. Well, I want to be a trillionaire businessman with a huge conglomerate company, with many subsidiaries.
Arjun Arya, Grade 9

Lockdown helped (develop) stronger family bonding as before we all were busy and didn’t get time to talk to each other.
– Suhani Jain, Grade 10

I’ve realised that ‘going out’ was a compulsive activity, avoidable on many occasions. Working on myself and my aspirations during the lockdown has been productive. During quarantine, I had a lot of time on my hands and was actually able to engage in online courses, building a student learning platform – Tapsules.org -, delving deeper into my music, and so much more. Despite this, if I had to choose 1, it would be spending time with my family and helping each other out throughout the pandemic, whether it be cooking and cleaning, or office/ school work, every moment of it was absolutely wonderful!
Nandini Narula, Grade 13

I shifted to Bangalore and made new friends and I am enjoying here.
– Sanchit Sardana, Grade 9

 Although 2020 was an unpleasant and challenging year, I didn’t give up. I took up a new challenge and started a campaign for the people living on the margins without a mask or face covering. I also took part in a game design program and ended up making new friends. Most importantly, I learnt Japanese and I have to say, it keeps me going!
– Anhad Goyal, Grade 11

Joining UC! Mentoring, guiding or counseling actually means the same. I’m so happy to connect with students through my organization and help them maintain a balance between their mind & body. Inspiring them to maintain a healthy relationship with their siblings, parents and of course friends, gives me mental peace, something that I was looking for for years! Thanks 2020 🙂
– Komal Singh, Counselor – University Connection

Well, 2020 wasn’t exactly the year I had hoped for. But surprisingly I felt it gave me a chance to spend more time with my family and I enjoyed every bit of it. One good thing that happened to me was I started practicing yoga regularly. It kept me fit, calm and I feel I have gained this confidence that with perseverance I can get better at anything that I want to do in life. I am grateful that my family and friends survived 2020 and I look forward to a safer and healthier 2021.
– Shilpy Dixit, Parent

One good thing that happened in 2020 was when suddenly from location limitation, University Connection moved to limitlessly serving the whole world! The Orange team evolved into a global team of benefactors exuding love and positivity! They quickly adapted to new technology, learned to deliver workshops, create content, motivate students, reach out to universities in varied time zones– all done 100% online! To make matters super interesting we celebrated birthdays & festivals, welcomed a baby, rejoiced in a wedding announcement, and made a big deal out of every admission/scholarship our students received! Thanks to the ‘new normal’, I could give time to my aging parents, pamper my plants, understand food is medicine, unite with my husband posted outside the city and also spend a lot of time with my college-bound teenage daughter – all in one year!
– Charushilla Narula, Founder – University Connection 

Among the very few good things about 2020 has been working from home! That too in my sweatpants and old ragged clothes. EVERYDAY!  Although I am someone who loved my daily commute since it gave me my uninterrupted space, I absolutely loved the no hurry-up breakfast, no kajal, no cold metro rides, no stress about having a bad hair day and surprisingly, no junk food. Moreover, I learned to appreciate my family even more. With time, life at home turned out to be not dull, but interesting. Not rushed, but rather calm.  I’m actually thankful for this year, for I got all the time in the world to reflect on old losses, new loves and everything in between. My goal is to be more kind and vocal. The world needs you.
– Ragini Dangwal, Student Success Manager – University Connection 

The one great thing that I learnt in 2020 is to be self-sufficient and to be happy with ourselves. The realisation that happiness depends on you and not the people around you is going to stay for long.
– Amrita Chopra, Grade 11

Amidst this pandemic and uncertain times, I graduated with a Masters degree and got my first job! I am so grateful for all the good things that happened otherwise this year.
– Anisha Kaur, Student Admissions – University Connection

Pandemic is a pandemic, how can it be good? But yes, it all depends on how you take it. If you keep cribbing and complaining about something negative it is bound to happen. If a glass is half-filled with milk, do I need to cry that it is empty? Instead, I can be happy that it’s at least half full, that too with milk and not water. It is a tough time where nothing great is happening, but what we can do is look within what we were dealing with in our everyday life. As a housewife, I’m mostly involved with kids, schooling, commuting, tuition, classes, same old routine, but in all the chaos, where am I? I am nowhere. But the lockdown gave me time to breathe and think about myself. So I was busy cooking and baking for my family, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t have to be fancy with everything all the time. I am a home baker now and I am doing it professionally too. People who have tasted my cakes are delighted and that makes me happy. It gives me immense pleasure to bake for them and in turn, I earn some extra pocket money for myself.  To be a perfectionist in whatever I do keeps me positive. I hope I stay committed to my work and my oven.
– Sakshi Talwar, Parent

Sitting at home, we had all the time to work on ourselves, spend more time with family members and do all the other things on which we were unable to spend time. I took this time to prepare for my college admissions by participating in different competitions sitting at home saving all the time which was wasted in commuting. We could attend our classes in our comfort zone. I spent a lot of time with my family. I could work on my speaking skills.
– Hemaang Talwar, Grade 11

When the lockdown started, I decided that this is my chance to work upon myself. The first thing I wanted to cultivate was an “attitude of gratitude”. Since March 25th, every morning, I have written 10 things I am grateful for. This small exercise has made a huge impact on how I perceive things!
– Tanya Sanghi, PG student

I learned programming and wrote a lot of essays!
– Aditya Soni, Grade 13

For me, 2020 was a year of a lot of positive changes. I always wanted to take some time off for some self-care and to work on my interests. But I was unable to do so, first because of college and then because of my job. This year gave me the very opportunity I was looking for. Sitting at home, I had plenty of time to read books that had been sitting on my shelf for years. I also acquired a keen interest in Python programming and learnt coding, a subject I used to dread in school. Lastly, the best thing that I did this year was starting a page on Instagram (@chaikitafree) where I post my photography and share stories of my travels. I intended to do something that brings people positivity in hard times, and I am glad that it is doing well in that regard.
– Chaitnya Chopra, PG student 

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