Op-Ed: Top Ten Events that Happened in 2020, From the Perspective of a College Student

By Jack Gilroy || Contributing Writer

Photos courtesy of, Vulture.com, Netflix.com, Variety.com, Express.co.uk, Theguardian.com.

Holy cow… what a year 2020 has been. One that anyone who lived through it will look back on and remember for the rest of their lives. There’s no doubt that this was a crazy year for everyone, but in my opinion, it gave a lot of people (including myself) a fresh new perspective on life; it’s made us all appreciative of what we still have and made us stronger to face whatever else the future holds.

With that said, hopefully you can find some comic relief in looking back at the dumpster fire that was 2020. In this list you’ll see the top ten events that really shaped the year from the perspective of a college kid. Because let’s face it, that’s the perspective we’re all really looking for.

1. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Leave the Royal Family

Now, this may be a questionable topic for some and maybe not for others. But I find myself thinking about this once a week and honestly have no clue how no one talks about how absurd it was. Imagine being known as the royal family and then just one day saying, “Yeah, I don’t want this anymore.” Craziness if you ask me. This has literally never happened before yet no one really talked about it. Imagine if someone did this back in the day. The royal family was completely ruthless back then, so I can only imagine what ridiculous things would’ve happened in response. The couple declared themselves as independents on the financial side of things, meaning they are not on the Royal Family payroll any longer. It makes you wonder if there’s something deeper here, something which will probably never be talked about, though… a shame. 

2. The Emergence of Tik-Tok

It has never been more clear that social media is taking over the world. With the emergence of TikTok, social media has become such a huge part of people’s daily lives that it’s hard to imagine life without it. Now, I am not a TikTok guy, but I do like seeing people entertain others and profiting off of it, especially when it is people my age doing awesome things. I think it’s time for the younger generation to start creating some real change, and through the emergence of social media, it is inspiring to see people come together and take those steps towards progress. 

3. The Super Bowl Halftime Show

Why does it feel like Shakira and J-Lo took the stage TOGETHER 25 years ago? Those two put on a show that the kids at home will never forget. Nonetheless, two legends in the music industry went off for probably the best halftime show in recent memory. After the “deflategate” scandal, the unjust punishment given to the Patriots, and the NFL moving everything around to help the Ravens yet making the Broncos play without a Quarterback, it is relieving to see the NFL and Goodell get one thing right. 

4. Sports Betting becomes Legal in Pennsylvania

All I can say is, it’s about time. It is shocking to me that it has taken this long for the government to start realizing how many people actually bet and are bad at it. Its illegality just keeps the government from getting a check, to be honest. I bet you a lot of those guys who wear suits all day, year-round, could use some thrill in their lives. If you’re asking me, nothing gives a guy more of a thrill than screaming at the TV on a Thursday night because you put the house on Hawaii only to realize Cole McDonald doesn’t play for them anymore. 

5. Baby Yoda?

This is going to rub some people the wrong way, but I hate baby Yoda. Now hear me out: All Baby Yoda did was give people a reason to think they were Star Wars fans. Old Yoda is a Star Wars legend, obviously, but Baby Yoda? No, screw that guy! He honestly isn’t even cute, and if you tell me you’re a Star Wars fan and then say “The Mandalorian” is your favorite TV-show, then you’re going to be a fraud in my book till the day you die. If you’ve never had to sit through the atrocity of Episode II, then you’re not a real Star Wars person. Don’t shoot the messenger. 

6. Sarah Fuller Becomes the First Girl to Play Football for a College Team

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know about this. It is pretty cool that a sport that has been around for 150 years had a new “first” this year. Her name is Sarah Fuller and she served as the kicker for Vanderbilt in a few of the team’s games. If you’re a guy and you have a problem with this, then I am sorry but you’re softer than soft serve. It is pretty rare nowadays for people to say they were the first to do something, and Sarah is now one of those people…pretty badass if you ask me. 

7. The Last Dance Documentary

The Last Dance is a documentary about the one and only Michael Jordan. It originally came out in the middle of April, but I read that it was ready to launch in March. Just imagine the ratings it would’ve had if it came out right when the lockdown started! That could’ve been huge for the country’s morale but unfortunately was not the case. The documentary was awesome, though, and a super cool look at how MJ did it all. Harden is the modern Rodman, and no one can tell me any different. 

8. Aliens are Real?

I think I may be the only one who knows this due to the fact that I have never had a conversation with someone about it, but it definitely falls into the category of ridiculous things that went by unnoticed this year. The Pentagon declassified three different videos of what they call “unidentified aerial phenomena,” which is their convoluted version of telling us aliens are real. I have long been a believer simply because space is way too big to think otherwise, but it is pretty crazy for the government to finally admit it to us. Now I can only imagine the stuff they still have classified, but maybe it’s better we don’t know. Or is it?

9. Music 

2020 was better for music than 2016. This might be a personal opinion, but 2020 popped off in music for me. From Drake dropping hit after hit, to Bryson Tiller & Playboi Carti emerging for the first time in years, to Taylor Swift cementing herself in the rafters with her eighth and ninth studio album in the span of five months, 2020 had a lot of awesome music. And we sure needed it. Other notable releases come from Quinn XCII, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi, & Mike. And If you’re a Frank Ocean fan, first off, I am sorry. 2021 is our year, and in this one, throw your 4’s up. 

10. Victory at Last 

This take is sizzling and I don’t like talking about things people may have divided opinions on but this has to be said. The return of the McRib was the best thing that happened in 2020. I am from New York and have been deprived of this sandwich for the past eight years and consider people who lived in states where it was always available as royals. You really don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and that rings true with the McRib. I have never been down South, but I imagine that the McRib is either as good as, or maybe better than, any “southern” BBQ I could get.

Well, there you have it. 2020 might have been miserable, but at least it kept us entertained. 

Sophomore Jack Gilroy is a contributing writer. His email is jgilroy@fandm.edu.

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