January of 2020 has been a whirlwind of a month. Between the Australian bushfires, the conflict in Iran, impeachment trials, the Coronavirus, and Kobe Bryant’s death, it seems like the world can’t go a day without receiving more bad news. Most people went into this year with a fresh mindset and thoughts of renewal, only to be bombarded with the news that World War III was right around the corner. Images of burned koalas and petrified kangaroos, then Kobe’s face on every billboard have stuck in the mind of every American and people worldwide over the past month.
The popular app Tik Tok has been flooded with memes about being drafted and a cough being the Coronavirus; Instagram is lined with posts about how the world has been going downhill since January 1st. There is an overall feeling of discomfort among people all over and the question most of seem to be asking is, how did we get here? Why does it feel like the world is falling apart at the seams in only a month?
I spoke with multiple students to get their views on how this month has gone. Many hit me back with a “don’t dwell so much on the negatives.” Many others, including junior Haley Williams, voiced that this seems to be the longest month of their lives and it is not just globally that it seems to be unfortunate circumstances. That is in their own personal lives, everything just feels wrong and hearing of the news causes the dread they have to grow. But the other consensus that I received was that this month really isn’t as abnormal as it seems to feel. Sophomore Maggie Goetz shared, “it is really crazy how much has happened but in comparison to what has happened in previous years, this doesn’t really seem like a lot now.”
And that is just it. We live in a world where catastrophic things happen on a daily basis, and though we joke about it all over social media, it doesn’t seem to really phase many people anymore. More than that, however, it seems that in particular, our students choose to not focus on what is happening at this moment and instead on the prospects of the future. Senior Mara Bett said, “though this year everything has happened in a very short period of time, we can still recover and try to fix things that were broken, try to make things better.”
There are still many months to go in 2020, ones that may include more unfortunate events, but the mindsets of this generation are what will keep everyone going. While there may be gen Z jokesters all over Tik Tok, they are also the ones that look to a more positive and brighter future.