With the new year comes new resolutions, new mindsets, and new hopes. 2020 has been a chaotic year for people across the globe, but how might 2021 be different? Will we defeat the pandemic before the end of the year? Will political unrest rise or fall with the approaching inauguration of Joe Biden? What good things are we hoping to stay with us in the new year? I asked a number of friends on my school group chats what their hopes and predictions were for 2021. Here are the ones I could share, because the sad girl answers or saltiness was too much.

 

Will covid still be a problem by the end of 2021? When will life return to normal?

Most people are sick of hearing about the pandemic. After all, almost an entire year has passed since the beginning of lockdowns across America. But how much longer do high school students see the pandemic being a problem?

Response: About 57% of surveyed students believe that life will return to normal by the end of the year, whatever “normal” may mean now. Based on the written response compared to the poll from the same students, they believe that normalcy will soon 

Sophomore Grace Horigan writes, “I think life has changed permanently whether we would like to think so or not. I think it will take a long time before we are past the effects the pandemic has had on our society.”

When asked if covid will still be a problem by the end of 2021, sophomore Zoe Trexel writes, “Yes, I do. I think that things will be much better and closer to normal. However, the amount of people who say they will not be vaccinated scare me. I think the virus will continue to spread because of them for a long time.”

 

Are you looking forward to 2021?

How do we know what to expect from 2021? Will it even be any different than 2020?

Response: Answers are split; three students say yes, two students say no, and two students have mixed feelings. In the words of sophomore Caroline Beck, “I am cautiously optimistic.”

Senior Sydney Wong also has a mixed viewpoint. She writes, “Yes and no. I’m excited to be a senior and for this new year but at the same time I’m scared that things aren’t going to change, and things NEED to start changing really soon.”

 

What things from 2020 are you hoping to leave in the past?

To state the obvious, 2020 was an all-around difficult year. There’s no doubt that it will take some time for the world to recover after the pandemic that has not even ended yet. 

Response: Two students write that they hope to leave behind the political unrest and claims of the election being fraudulent. The riot at the Capitol widely strengthened concerns about the transition of power from President Trump to president-elect Biden, and with the inauguration approaching later this month, there is no predicting how people on both sides of the political spectrum may react.

The pandemic has also taken a toll on mental health. Adults, teenagers, and even children are being faced with heavy issues like loss, anxiety, and loneliness. The responses reflected this; one anonymous student writes that they want to leave “depression and loneliness” behind, while another writes “sadness.” 

 

What things from 2020 are you hoping to keep?

The past year wasn’t all bad. Time to themselves is something many teenagers are deprived of while trying to juggle school and responsibilities. With the extra free time at home due to quarantine, many people have picked up new hobbies, finished projects, or learned something new.

Zoe Trexel writes about hobbies she has started in 2020. “I’ve picked up felting and bullet journaling, so I’m excited to keep doing those. Also, I’ve been getting more exercise this year.”

Some people have also taken this time to gain a better understanding of their identities. “I want to keep exploring who I am. I feel like for so long I was just performing what I think my personality, gender, and sexuality is to make it simple for everyone else. Being home has made me realize that I should let anyone have hold on how I dress or express myself,” Grace Horigan says.

 

2020 may have been a crazy time, but it’s not too late to change your mindset for the new year– even if circumstances don’t change much in 2021, we can focus on making it more manageable, or even enjoyable. Stay safe, and happy new year!

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