T’Ahara Willis

I’m sure that just like me, when the year 2021 came in, you had high expectations. Maybe you were expecting the pandemic to be over. 

You probably thought that the last new year would be your year to regain freedom, peace of mind and fresh air that didn’t have to seep in through a mask. 

However, if we are truly honest, our expectations weren’t met. Instead, our expectations were met with civil unrest, new COVID-19 variants and only more reasons to lock ourselves inside our homes. 

With the constant feeling of being on edge while waiting for productions of vaccines, it seemed like we just couldn’t catch a break.

No one expected that we would have to force ourselves to be acclimated and endure another year of COVID-19, but even so, at the end of another year we have persevered and made it to the new year, 2022.

Reflecting on the year 2021, it could be likened to a stubborn mule that no matter what you did, no matter how much you pleaded, it just would not budge.

From having to endure COVID-19 regulations, online learning and some people not having had contact with their families in months, we were all in a desperate state. Desperately in need of hope, joy, and greater progress because, by now, we are all over COVID-19.

However, it would be pessimistic of me if I failed to acknowledge that while we had some hard fights to push through in 2021, there were some upsides. 

More of the United States had begun to take COVID-19 more seriously and opted to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones. Let’s not forget President Biden signed legislation to officially establish June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day. 

While still following COVID-19 regulations, some of us were able to return to work or school and regain a small sense of normalcy.

Whatever the year 2021 looked like for you, if you’re reading this article, you have something to be thankful for. We are still here. 

Getting this pandemic out of the way so that we can return to the joys of life may seem like it’s moving painstakingly slow, but it is movement nonetheless. So, what is to come in 2022?

I can’t tell you how to feel about this new year, but the truth is, there is no way to determine how the year 2022 is going to go. As for me, I’m determined to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

History has it that we have already experienced many down times before, like the Great Depression, or the World Wars.

Times have been hard before, and behind us is the history of 2020 where everything felt foreign and uncertain and still we made it through. 

If we’ve already made it through two years of COVID-19, why wouldn’t we overcome again? 

When asked what was expected of 2022, sophomore psychology major Eric Kenton said that he is “looking forward to the pandemic being over, but it doesn’t look likely because of the news trends.” 

It seems that, for Kenton, in spite of things not looking so bright, he still is determined to go forward.

“I’m [still] looking forward to trying new things despite everything,”Kenton added. 

 On the other hand, Officer Roberto Garibaldi, a Lakeland police officer and a resource officer at Florida Southern College, stated that in the year 2022 he is looking forward “to unity and more people believing in God.” 

Everyone is entitled to their reservations and hopes that they may have coming into this new year, and you have to make your own choice in how you decide to look forward in the year 2022.


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