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Year in Retrospect: Hindsight is 2020

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DECEMBER 10, 2020

A year seemingly defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements, one of the most contentious elections in U.S. history and palpable evidence of climate change with wildfires hitting the California coast, 2020 has put many of us through the wringer. Despite all this, the year has also yielded unmatched entertainment and opportunities for personal growth, forcing us to redefine ourselves outside of our routines and face the future with a new sense of purpose and much-needed hope.

Now, we’re walking out of 2020 and taking what we have learned with us. Whether you’re looking to reminisce on the year’s bright spots or learn about our hopes for change in the year to come, this special issue has you covered. After everything we’ve encountered in 2020, here at The Daily Californian, we feel 2021 is no match for us.

The 4 most meme-worthy pop culture references of 2020

Infographic depicting four pop culture references from 2020Four walls, constant blue light stimulation and living with family have a way of spawning unbeatable comedic content.

— Anishi Patel

The quarantine ’20s: A month-by-month collection of poetry

Photo of a typewriter

We keep fighting about the damages we have done. Burning sides, losing sight, not working together as one.


— Gisselle Reyes

The year where everything and nothing happens

Even though my life now may not be dazzling, I know that in some time, there will be light again.

— Daniella Lake

Climate change in the age of Joe Biden with Daniel Kammen

Illustration of Donald Trump and Joe Biden back to back, with speech bubbles representing different climate policiesIn a rare silver lining, the environment seemed to benefit from the onset of lockdowns across the globe.

— Luke Stiles

Photo Essay: 2020 in 20 Photos

Photo of the CampanileThe past 343 days have been bizarre, rough, inspiring, bittersweet and, perhaps more than anything, worth reflecting on.

— Lisi Ludwig, David McAllister and Celine Bellegarda

Looking back on Cal Athletics’ 2020 highlights

In the chaos that was the constantly changing Pac-12 guidelines for when to resume play, there were a few glimmers of hope — including one especially bright glimmer.

— Mia Horne

5 of my favorite reads from my time in quarantine

Despite having read it hundreds of times, “The Song of Achilles” continues to captivate me just as much as it did the time I first read it.

— Samantha Lim

Experts, student advocates reflect on mental health in 2020

Illustration of a person looking stressed as they consider the events of the year 2020While mental health issues are frequently stigmatized as a symptom of weakness rather than genuine illness, leading professionals and student advocates assert that the emotional toll of 2020 has posed a legitimate threat to our well-being.

— Aiko Sudijono

A sunset of moods

2020 has been a year of discovery and reconsideration, a year of contradictions and a year of selective blank slates.

— Anusha Subramanian

Midnight rises, blue and beautiful

Young, old, tall, short, here, there, friends, family and strangers — we have experienced this year collectively, together, feet planted on the same planet.

— Jasper Kenzo Sundeen


Contact Ruby Sutton at 


DECEMBER 10, 2020