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I am starting this new year with both hope and apprehension. This time last January, I was feeling inspired and ready to take on what was shaping up to be a great year – and well, we all know how that story unfolded. So, for obvious reasons, I contemplated skipping 2021 resolutions all together to eliminate the disappointment of falling short of my goals due to the unpredictability of the world. 

However, when I opened up Instagram on January 1st, I was surprised to see that I wasn’t the only one skipping out on resolutions this year. Instead, the word “intention” popped up all over my feed. Since we’ve learned the hard way that our plans can change in the blink of an eye, setting intentions is a way to create a few low-pressure goals that encourage you to try your best without forcing unrealistic perfection. In the same vein, we should have hope for 2021 to be a year of healing for our world, but we simply can’t expect it to be perfect. As much as I wanted to believe that when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve all of the hurt the world experienced throughout 2020 would disappear, in just the first week of 2021 we’ve already experienced more turmoil than ever. 

We have to accept that life will never return to the way it was pre-pandemic. And that’s a good thing. You should feel angry, you should feel confused, you should feel tired, you should want to cry, and you should want to scream at the top of your lungs right now. Because these feelings are valid and important and imperative to changing our world for the better. I don’t want the world to go back to the way it was before, because we were complacent before. The events that have shaped the past year, as scary as they have felt, have just opened our eyes to what has been there all along. 

Whether we are ready to admit it or not, we are experiencing growing pains. Life is hard right now, and that’s okay. So set some intentions this year. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter. All that matters right now is that you don’t get complacent. If you want a better world, make it one. Use your voice to speak up for those who can’t. Wear a mask. Love on the people who love you and believe in you. Prioritize your mental health. Treat everyone with respect. Recognize that these aren’t political issues, these are social issues. You want to be on the right side of history when this hardship ends. And it will end. 

Caroline Steinfeld is currently a junior at the University of Alabama majoring in Fashion Retailing and minoring in General Business. She is very family-oriented and loves creative writing, going to restaurants with friends, and all things fashion. She is constantly inspired by fashion magazines, iconic 90s movies, and the women around her on campus.
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