Harrisites share their 2021 New Year’s resolutions

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As January approaches, it is an opportune time to reflect on the preceding year and begin setting expectations on the succeeding year. 2020, the year turned upside down, was marked by the tragic deaths of many admired figures, the racial bigotry that reignited #BlackLivesMatter, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this, many Harrisites look to 2021 as the light at the end of the tunnel, and eagerly anticipate the new year, with goals for improving themselves and their communities. 

Recalling their experiences during the pandemic, many students and faculty have had their goals and mental health negatively impacted by the pandemic. Junior Alayanah Piedal said, “This year’s conditions, being home for almost all of the lockdown, it definitely left a lot of room for me to be lazy and put off things on my to-do list.” Sharing a similar sentiment, English teacher Aseefa Rasool said, “with all that’s been happening, I lost sight of doing the things that make me happy, like reading for pleasure.” 

However, others still tried to uphold positive mindsets despite this elongated period of quarantine. Freshman Zara Islam said, “This year hit ‘pause’ on our lives, forcing us to stop and reflect on how we feel about the world around us and how we handle ourselves. Due to such conditions, I [felt] that I should be more appreciative of the things I used to take for granted and the opportunities I overlooked.” On the other hand, senior Eric Han found opportunity through the free time that the pandemic gave him to explore what he loves. “Being locked inside was actually a blessing in disguise, as my progress in terms of [music] production skyrocketed, and I’ve had the honor of collaborating with artists that I looked up to as a musician, which never would’ve happened if I hadn’t progressed so quickly,” said Eric.

As for resolutions, Harrisites shared a variety of goals for the upcoming year:

Eric looks forward to pursuing his music further and “pushing the boundaries of what [he] can do.” “One of my resolutions for the new year is to get featured on a Youtube channel called Yo Kaze,” Eric said. “They feature small musicians who make niche and rhythm game-style music (doujin music), and it’s one of my short term goals. I started music production this year (about six months ago), and so I want to establish my name in the musical world.”

Alayanah said, “I would like to become more active and to develop a healthy sleep schedule.  Academic-wise, I hope I pass all of my classes with flying colors and finally put an end to my extreme procrastination.” 

Freshman Anna Hsieh’s New Year’s resolution is to trade time spent on her computer for developing a new hobby. “I find that I look at a screen for more than 10 hours on a regular school day,” Anna said. “Other than having classes on Zoom and doing my work, I also go on my phone during my free time, so I’m trying to find a new hobby.” 

Additionally, Physical Education teacher Matt Lemanczyk said that his New Year’s resolutions were to “continue to spend time with my family and to be the best husband/father I can be” and to “maintain my fitness and workout routine.” 

While setting resolutions can be simple, maintaining them throughout the year tends to be harder. However, many are motivated to take on the challenge. Zara said, “I think simply the memory of this year and its contents will remind me to be grateful for the things and experiences that I have, inspiring me to take on each opportunity that comes my way with optimism.” Sophomore Erica Jin shared similar hopes: “We’ve already survived almost a year with this pandemic, there’s only so much left to endure. If anything, our necessities have been altered to our customs like remote learning, online shopping, and more.” 

As 2020 comes to a bittersweet end, students expressed feelings of discouragement and disappointment along with gratitude and anticipation when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Although many students leave 2020 behind with aspirations left unfulfilled, Harrisites are enthusiastic about what 2021 will bring to the table for them. Between the uncertainties regarding the end of the pandemic, this year’s hardships, and realizations, many Harrisites continue to stay expectant and persistent to make the best out of the circumstances given. 

Image from Pixabay