January 8, 2021
We’ve all heard it a million times: 2020 has been an awful year, full of unimaginable loss. Like everybody else, I’m extremely happy to enter 2021, even if a new year doesn’t mean that all our problems suddenly disappear. Call me superstitious, but I don’t ever want to be associated with this year again.
Missing out on my senior year and everything that comes with it has definitely been a blow, but honestly, I’ve gotten over it pretty easily. It’s hard to miss something you never really had in the first place. All pain is valid no matter the scale, but seeing people lose their lives really does give me perspective.
For me, what’s really been painful about this year is losing a lot of faith in humanity. Seeing people refuse to respect COVID-19 guidelines in any way, despite 1.89 million people dead worldwide. Nearly 2 million people will never get to see their loved ones again or simply get to live, but people can’t give up a huge New Years party. Seeing the government continuously providing insufficient support to people struggling during this economic time. Seeing the thinly veiled racism of so many come out during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, filled with microaggressions, gaslighting, and just blatant racism. Everything that we are witnessing day in and day out has made me question if there really are more good in this world than bad.
Insufficient government support, ignorance, and racism have always been a major part of American society; this year has simply brought it to the light. Ignorance truly can be bliss sometimes, but it’s important to move past the sting of the truth and regroup. Although turning on the news is very depressing, there is an upside: we have an opportunity to improve our world. The first step to a better future is recognizing that there are deep issues.
Even in the worst of times, I’ve still been unbelievably blessed. I enter 2021 grateful that all my loved ones are safe, praying for those who weren’t as fortunate, excited to graduate high school, and attend my dream college this year. I am ready to stay vigilant and focused on the issues plaguing our society. As shown by the “patriots” terrorizing the U.S. Capitol building in the name of defending the flawed status quo at the beginning of 2021, we have a long way to go.