One quick note: Something I did was I made sure to not let my Mac go to sleep as the downloading process was happening. I tried that the first time and as a result I had to redownload Big Sur.
But by not letting it sleep the second time and seeing it all the way through, I was able to get it downloaded and from there, install.
So far everything seems to be working fine except for the messages app. That isn’t loading. I sent a report to Apple to let them know. Other than that, everything is working. I’ll let you all know what other issues I come across (if any).