After a tough 2020, New Year’s resolutions take on greater meaning

Most people cannot wait for 2020 to end.

Students have struggled with COVID-19 protections, suspension of in-person classes, the rise of Zoom instruction, social distancing and social compromises.  Many have not seen family members since March. Some have lost jobs due to the virus.

“It was draining,” said freshman Declan Mckee, who said it was impossible to achieve all he had hoped for during the year.

“While it sounds oblivious to all the suffering that has happened, I only want to go into 2021,” he said.

Though most health experts predict that Americans’ lives will only begin to return to normal toward the end of next year, after much of the population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, students say they are ready for a change now – and many have started developing New Year’s resolutions.

“[The year] was a blur, so I want to go into 2021 and start journaling every day,” said sophomore Mirella Rodriguez. “Writing down my thoughts and feelings to go back and eventually read again in the future, but also to use as a stress reliever.

“Dwelling on how bad the situation is will only make your situation worse,” she said.

For many students, the first step into the New Year is preparing for a new semester, which may largely involve online classes.

“I’m investing in my work space, considering any future jobs may also require me to work from home,” said senior Sara Booth. “I bought myself a brand new desk to keep myself organized, and made an effort to create my workspace as something that I should get excited to use.”

Booth is eager for the New Year, but said 2020 has not been all bad.

“This year has brought my family together,” she said. “I want to make the resolution to take time out of my day to call my family more.”

And, of course, some students are resolving to be healthier.

“Every year I always prioritize eating healthier, taking vitamins, working on my overall well-being ,” said McKee. “My resolution is to keep wearing my mask, socially distancing, to prove the importance of health for me and everyone.”

Sophomore Dev Heinrich has invested in exercise equipment, which he said has helped his emotional well-being.

“Working out has made a world of a difference for my mental and physical health, so my main focus is to keep it up while being at home,” he said, adding that the experience of Zoom classes and discussions has also boosted his confidence.

“Going into the new semester, I want to keep growing my ability to have confidence to talk in my classes,” he said.