Goodbye 2020, We Won’t Miss You


With 2020 in the rearview mirror, many students are heading into 2021 with a changed attitude, although some are careful not to put too much stock in the new year fixing all the old problems.

December 31, 2019 was no different than any other New Year’s Eve: people had parties, spent time with extended family, and screamed “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” at the top of their lungs. The catchy hashtag, #2020vision, was plastered all over the internet along with captions, such as “Here’s to 2020 being the year.”

Fast forward a year later: as the clock passed midnight and moved into January, 2021, the world said goodbye to perhaps the least-liked year in human history with living room dance parties, and an even more widely used hashtag with some explicit language involved.

Marley Lien Gonzalez, a sophomore at The Kent School in Kent, Connecticut finds that although 2020 was like a year-long bad dream, it did give her some time to reflect.

“Staying in solidarity during quarantine was sort of relaxing and I really got to understand who and what was most important to me with all the ups and downs,” she said.

With 2020 still in mind, Marley is remaining realistic about her hopes and resolutions for 2021.

“[My] attitude for 2021 is definitely stay focused on what you want to achieve, but be flexible and aware of shifting elements,” she stated. “[My] resolutions are pretty simple, the past year was so unpredictable [that] I have low, low standards.”

Janet Hedges, a senior at The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connecticut enjoyed her time at home this spring and is describing her mindset heading into 2021 as “hang in there.”

Senior Ruby McElhone Yates believes one positive aspect of 2020 was that people became much more appreciative of simplicities, such as attending school in person.

“People are a lot more appreciative of being together and are a lot more aware of their privileges. For example, we were a lot more grateful to be in school,” she noted.

Although Ruby hopes that 2021 will bring positive change, she also understands that the challenges faced in 2020 are not over yet.

“My attitude towards 2021 changes day to day. Our 2020 problems are not going to end because it’s a new year, although good things seem to be on the horizon.”

While 2021 may not be a complete 180, positives changes are happening. With two vaccines being administered across the country and a new administration in the White House, 2021 has the potential to bring calmness and normalcy. Many businesses, schools, and sports have also learned to adapt to the “new normal,” making it easier to get out of the house and live as “normally” as possible.

Amelia Carlan, ’21, believes that the future is promising, and is trying to find ways to be more thankful for her “new normal.”

“I think I’m trying to go into 2021 with optimism. I hope things get better,” she said. “My biggest resolution this year is to just enjoy the little things that we didn’t get to [in 2020], like walking to class with friends or eating in the dining hall.”

At the same time, Amelia will carry what she learned from 2020 with her into the new year.

“2020 has taught us that going into the year deciding that this will be the best year yet will always be counter-productive,” she stated.

This realistic approach to the new year is being taken on by more than just students, however.

In a January 6 article for the New York Times, Jason Horowitz wrote about the lack of hope accompanying 2021.

“But nearly a year into the crisis, after any New Year’s buzz has worn off, talk of common fragility and self-actualization can feel like whistling in the dark,” Horowitz wrote.