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By Britley Blessitt – Student Journalist

Goodbye, 2020, you will not be missed! 

We needed you, but we did not need you. Let me explain. It’s simple. Yes, 2020 taught us that life is precious but also broke us. Sweatpants, a tub of ice cream, and Netflix never made the pain go away. The produced isolation made us realize that we need communication, no offense to introverts or homebodies. All the lives lost still torment me at night, even though I did not know them. All I knew was that they were humans, and their time was cut short. Before the chaos of 2020, we would say “YOLO” all the time, but I wonder if we truly knew what it meant. “You Only Live Once” was the slogan of 2020. Racism became clearer and sparked massive protests across the globe. These were some scary times. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Andre Hill, and many others still have not received proper justice. Honestly, it felt like every other day I was watching a funeral on the BET network. Juneteenth was recognized and soon made into a national holiday. Any form of racism towards any race is disturbing. When Wuhan, China was labeled one of the first spots of the COVID-19 outbreak, many people of Asian decent were brutally assaulted and lost their businesses. COVID-19 increased depression and anxiety rates throughout the population. Tik Tok took up most of our time until quarantine slowly began to be lifted. The presidential election of 2020 caused nail-biting, jaw-dropping anxiety. A new mutated strain of COVID-19 placed the world into a permanent depression.

Well, 2021, this is why I choose you! Ironic, right? We can not choose an exact year to have successful growth or bad experiences. Life happens; life is a rollercoaster. And here I am declaring 2021 like it is my starter Pokemon in any Pokemon series. I’m not here to write fancy words about how everyone wanted 2020 to be their year. I know from harsh experiences, there is no reset button. These experiences made me realize to move forward instead of backward. This pandemic taught us to be more humble, caring, and empathetic. The new introduction of an email, text, letter, or facetime call could be: “How are you?”. People were hurting and are still hurting. 2021 is the year to rebuild. Recreate yourself. Be someone who you can be proud of when you look in the mirror every day. 

Drink water every day. Take vitamins, meditate and exercise daily. Read a book. Knowledge is power, my friends. Limit your usual amount of screen time. Be positive. There have been so many times I admitted: “I can’t write well”. Replace “I can’t” with “I can” in front of sentences. Challenge the person you see in the mirror every day. Live every day like your last. Do not compare yourself to others. Take care of yourself. It is crucial to understand social media can sometimes suck the life out of you. Social media breaks are necessary in this society. Be patient because the best is yet to come. Love yourself. Be kind to others. Many are homeless, unemployed, experiencing abuse, or worse throughout quarantine. It is okay to cry. We are humans. Displaying emotions is healthier than concealing emotions. Do the unthinkable. Want to create a business? Do it! Want to go back to school? Do it! Want to write a book? Do it. The year 2020 has shown everyone has a story. So in 2021, we have to expand and create better memories for our stories. Whatever you want to do, just do it!

For some, the pandemic has been a difficult battle. We had to find our ways to mourn, heal, and move on. It’s not easy. I want you to know that we are not alone. We can get through this thing called life together. Let 2021 be the year of ultimate transformation. The rapper, Future, will have a big payday with “Mask Off” when the pandemic is over. Most importantly, remember the grind never stops. Until then, wash your hands, social distance, and wear your masks.