To New Beginnings

A new year, regardless of the circumstances and conditions, is still the start of a new chapter. And to no surprise, it comes with New Year’s Resolutions. Whether we follow through with these promises or stop by the second week of January (like most of us), we carry expectations and hopes for this new beginning. As tough as 2020 was, we have an opportunity to change our lives and those around us for the better. So, what do you look forward to and what is something you want to accomplish for yourself this year?

Lilian Chong – The year 2020 in a nutshell: it was an unprecedented and pivotal, yet reflective and remarkable year in history. It was a year to reflect upon the unexpected climate crises, unstable political landscapes, and the novel pandemic. Despite stay-at-home orders and secluding myself away from the dark world, there were several advantages I discovered in 2020. Apart from the adversities seen in the previous year, I’ve learned the importance of connecting with families and conversing with people I’ve never thought of meeting before. At last, entering 2021, I hope to focus on mental health and embrace myself to challenge complex circumstances. As a New Year’s resolution, I hope to achieve the latter goals by journaling often and setting aside plenty of time to rest from the media and the blinding computer screen. Though 2020 may have been a tumultuous year for the majority, it has been quite a journey of rediscovering and exploring new challenges. Now, it’s a wake-up call for every one of us to overcome the perils of this world.

Janell Wang – It’s no secret that 2020 was a year full of chaos and uncertainty as we have been stuck in quarantine for over half a year now. This pandemic was unprecedented as the whole world was suddenly plunged into much turmoil, in forms of trying to deal with the political aspect of it or making efforts to stop Covid-19 itself. My hope for 2021 is that things will finally improve and that COVID-19 will be gone—as I’m sure many people are also hoping for. I want to be able to freely go out and have fun with family and friends. Even for an introvert like myself, being constantly stuck at home can be suffocating. While it may take time for things to go all the way back to how it was pre-COVID, I just want to see some change for this year.

Kailani Yamashiro – 2020 was a roller coaster of a year and I think I can speak for the majority of people when I say no one will miss it. Going into the new year, we can all agree that we don’t want a repeat of it. Personally, I just want change (something that is long overdue in all aspects of life) and for COVID-19 to end. We need kindness right now more than ever. During quarantine, I found my love of reading and have already read 50 books in roughly five months. I think it’s crazy because I have hated reading since day one. My personal goal is to read 150+ books throughout 2021, which is something I find really exciting since I’ve already started my book reading list.

Madison Yee It is self-explanatory when I say that 2020 was not the greatest year, which is a valid reason why I am hoping for 2021 to be a time of new beginnings and a “fresh start.” Even though I tend to voice that statement every year, being locked down in our homes has given me a new perspective on life and how I want to live each day to the fullest. For the photo that I chose, I included an image of nature because I am really looking forward to observing the different things I see each day and taking time to appreciate everything and everyone that I am lucky to have. With the newly found goals that I’ve structured, one of my aspirations for this year is to be happy with myself, and to use this time to focus on me. In terms of my resolutions, I am anticipating meeting new people, looking into my future, working on self-care, and trying and learning new things while I still have open opportunities. Although commitment can be difficult at times especially with all of the hardships from this past year, I decided to create a well thought-out schedule for each day, and an organized routine to stay on track with my habits.

Pamina Yung – Throughout 2020, there was an exceptional number of conflicts between the people of our nation, making our country seem more divided than ever. It was impossible to browse social media without coming across a political clash between netizens aimlessly insulting their opposers. Although there is definitely a list of issues we need to address, the enormous amount of arguing that occurred online and even in person was exhausting. The constant political battles have also caused some people to suppress their own speech and avoid openly expressing their beliefs in fear of being attacked. There is a fine line between claims and facts, but in 2021, I hope that everyone will refrain from bashing others because of their opinions and respect each other as human beings. This also includes myself. This year, I want to always remember to consider other people’s perspectives before jumping to conclusions. I’ve seen that this extra precaution can save an uneasy conversation and prevent various misunderstandings. No country or society can achieve total perfection. However, the simple and effortless act of being polite makes anyone feel welcome, and brings our nation closer together, moving forward on the path to an ideal unity.