Happy New Year to all of you! Welcome to 2021 – continued quarantine and closures ( does anyone even remember what the inside of a nightclub or sports stadium looks like?), Winter quarter (ugh), a new president (maybe?), more stimulus checks (yay!), new laws (what?!), the hope of vaccination (thank God) juxtaposed against continually climbing COVID-19 cases and cold and flu season (good grief!), and the ever-present onslaught of Zoom fatigue that is our new normal (I still don’t know -or remember- what normal even means!).
Despite the maelstrom of chaos that is now life for most of us, we here at the Collegian believe it is important to reflect upon our hopes, wishes and goals for the new year, and we’re narcissistic enough to be convinced that you are simply bursting to know what we’re thinking. Lucky you!
But seriously, we invite you to take a moment with us, to consider what 2020 meant for you, what you’ve learned -both about yourself and the world (and your place in it)- and what you plan to change or do better in the coming year. We are rooting for you all as you muddle through whatever nonsense comes your way in 2021. We will be right there with you, trudging along toward destiny as best we may through the sludge. May the Force be with us all.
Here are the Collegian staff’s resolutions for the new year…
At midnight as the year rolled into the next, I stood on the fourth floor fire escape of my apartment building, alone, overlooking downtown Seattle and Lake Union. Across the way some distance were revelers on balconies, and scattered on the streets below was a stray whoop or two. There was no champagne, hugs, or kisses, just the crisp night air and my lungs howling in joy. But I wasn’t alone. We were separated physically but unified by our experience: the hope that 2021 will be better. In fact, I’ve never experienced a greater sense of global unity than 2020 gave me, and it’s that feeling of brotherhood and community that I want to hold onto and carry into this next year. 2020 has been a lesson in how individual actions, whether wearing a mask, casting a vote, or wielding a cardboard sign, truly do add up. So, I don’t know what 2021 will look like, but I know that each of us matters and that we are all in this together.
-Harlow Poffenberger, editor
My resolution is an ongoing one: gratitude. Gratitude knowing that whatever I’m experiencing now is so much better than what it (always) has the potential to be. I acknowledge the global, collective battle to be an internal one at the end of the day, and it’s our individual ability to heal ourselves in little big ways that will allow us to overcome the incessant onslaught of evolutionary, earthly and cosmic curve balls.
-Jordan Somers, photographer
I look forward to acquiring more skills in web and mobile development from my program of study. Meanwhile strengthening my existing skills to become a hireable web developer that will allow me to work remotely and support my family better. As the niche I’m into is web development and sustainability, I plan to establish my authority, build my audience and connections in that niche by creating a portfolio from schoolwork and writing blog posts. Besides, I aim to help small businesses with a focus on sustainability to thrive and have solid online presence so that they can survive during any uncertain times. I’m determined to improve and develop relationships with my family and significant others. In addition, I will improve my health by fixing my sleeping routine and diet so that I’m more prepared for the endless overwhelming amount of online work and study.
-Gift Homsaen, web manager
My resolution for 2021 is to find more ways to externalize and manifest the internal discoveries and self-awareness that Covid-19 and prolonged isolation have afforded me. Creative outlets are a powerful form of experiential documentation, mental health and self care, and I have been remiss in honoring this truth by not practicing it in my life. It is one of my core beliefs that all hardship and struggle must find meaning and purpose, for that is one of the points of experiencing suffering. Lessons learned mean nothing if you do not act upon and share them in some way, so I will do my best to find meaning in my challenges through the exploration of creative expression and spiritual mindfulness practices. I’ve been so busy maintaining my responsibilities, putting out fires and being as present as I can for others that I have neglected my own mental, physical and emotional care. Esto no es bueno. I will do better this year at finding balance and honoring my own limits instead of flying past them like an idiot. With that said, I also resolve to not let my mental and emotional fatigue hinder me from continuing to support the communities I am connected to. Each of us has the opportunity to “do our part” during these difficult times, and I am responsible for doing my share.
-Astro Pittman, editor-in-chief
I vow to become physically and mentally stronger and continue working on independence and stability in various areas of my life. I know I cannot achieve a “normal” life for a while, but people don’t understand what normalcy means to me. After being ill and dependent on other people to take care of me for so long, I vow to achieve some semblance of strength and independence as a “normal” woman my age would have by this point in their life. I fully recognize this is against my odds of long-lasting mental and physical impacts by this pandemic, but there would be no other option but to wallow in it.
-Danny Barber, managing editor
My resolution for the new year is to simply try. A lot of my regrets in 2020 have been missed opportunities caused by crippling anxiety and a fear of failure. Though I cannot control the former, I will try to overcome the latter by taking chances and moving past the false outlook that a pause button has been hit on the world. Time has not stopped for anyone, especially not me. My endless battle with procrastination has gotten worse for the concept of time has begun to seem nonexistent from the countless hours spent inside the house. This has only snowballed into more mental problems and while I cannot make them go away with the consumption of a single pill, I certainly will try to take on more of my responsibilities and give back to the communities I am a part of as well as those I care about.
-Alex Su, staff writer
I will open myself up more and welcome the changes. I have tried changing many things this year, which brought me both good and bad outcomes. Even though any further changes might sound overwhelming, I know for a fact that it would motivate me to find out great things about the world I have yet to discover. Looking back to a few years ago, I saw how distant I am to others, and this year’s events reminded me of how people around me matter much more than I think. In 2021, I will take that great opportunity to apply what I have learned and continue changing to become better.
-Thang Nguyen, staff writer
If I asked myself one year ago, I would say, “I would finish my studies with at least a 3.8 GPA, be more creative, try harder, stop procrastinating…etc.” But honestly, I would rather stop being hard on myself and realize that sometimes, confidence is needed. Because in the end, me being the best version of myself can lead me to any other achievement I desire. The pandemic has affected us all, and for me, I struggled with my mentality the most. I’d rather not set any goals, and focus on what’s more important: who I am right now and how my choices in the next few seconds that I breathe impact today, tomorrow or maybe next year.
-Smile Tongkaw, staff writer
For Christmas, I received a new biography of President Abraham Lincoln. Having grown up on an Indiana farm bordered by the tracks that carried Lincoln’s funeral train back in 1865, I’ve carried a lifelong interest in our 16th president. It feels like politicians today have forgotten Lincoln’s moderating spirit, not to mention what can be accomplished by tempering our tendency toward extremism. For the last week of 2020, I read from my new book for an hour each morning. I would like to continue this early morning reading habit throughout 2021. Other books I received as gifts include Shiro: a memoir by Shiro Kashiba and, from my hilarious brother, Warmed by Love, a book of poetry by Leonard Nimoy. I also plan to draw inspiration from these authors in the coming year.
-Johnny Horton, faculty advisor
What about you? Feel free to share your resolutions for 2021 in the comments section, we’d love to hear from you!