The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday October 25th

Office DJ: It's OK to be sad, this sucks

Brandon Standley
Buy Photos Brandon Standley

2020 has sucked.

My journalism professors might not think that's too much of a lede, but it does what a good summary lede should — it explains what the story is going to be about: 2020 sucking. 

So far 2020 hasn't brought anything substantially good to my life, or to others, from what I can see.

In just eight short months, this world and its inhabitants have faced an unrelenting pandemic that has uprooted the normalcy of everyone's lives day-in and day-out; natural disasters; drastic changes in climate; unexpected deaths of friends, family, idols and loved-ones — all of this while trying to maintain some resemblance of mental health OK-ness and happiness.  

So, it's fair to say this year has sucked. But what everyone is forgetting to remember is that it is OK to say that, and that it is OK to feel like it sucks. 

It took me forever to recognize that.

I didn't think it was acceptable to feel any sort of self-pity for so long. This, even as my friends were being split apart, the people I had just started to get to know in the residence hall were being sent home, classes started going all remote and things felt absolutely terrifying. 

It felt selfish to focus on my petty problems as the world faced its own set of far-more pressing challenges. Sickness, death, impairment, natural disaster, economic devastation; the list goes on and on.

But it took a few deep talks with good friends to understand that I wasn't the only one experiencing emotions like this and that it was normal to feel — even if seemed selfish in a way. I left those conversations with some new found-wisdom that I will share with y'all. 

So, to you, my loyal reader:

Living through a pandemic, natural disaster, death, etc. all sucks — and you can feel that. 

What we can't forget is that we are allowed to have feelings. We can be upset about how life is changing. We can be frustrated with how our lives have been uprooted. We can even let out a good cry. 

But it's also important to remember two things: life will go forward and we have individual impact on how it goes forward. 

But, the only way we can ensure that the world goes forward and that we can leave behind the bad feelings — the sadness about death, the devastating effects of climate change, the insufferable changes to normal life  — is to do the right thing. 

Social distance yourself from others. Wear a mask. Hug a tree. Take time for yourself. Keep the greater social interest in mind. 

That's what we must do in the long-term.

But for today, take some time off, have a good moment of intense emotion and accept that 2020 has been rough, and that this — and whatever you may be going through on top of it — sucks. 

Sad music, in an eclectic and confusing way, makes me feel better. So I hope it'll make you feel better too as you accept this year. I think it will — after all this playlist is a collaboration of various DTHers most favorite and saddest songs. 

Just don't forget, it'll all be back to "normal" soon. If we do the right thing.


Brandon Standley

Brandon Standley is the editorial managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel. He is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying public relations and psychology.

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