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2020 has been a year characterized by bad news. While the COVID-19 pandemic was the root of much of the negativity in 2020, there were many other events that left us feeling sad, discouraged, and even outraged. Between the tragic occurrences of racial injustice and police brutality in our country, natural disasters like the wildfires in Australia, the deaths of prominent figures, and deep political polarization, there was much suffering in the world this year. As 2021 approaches, though the work for reform and calls for justice must continue, we should look to the positive events that will transpire on the heels of a new year. Here are some of the exciting things that will occur in 2021, in no specific order.

The COVID-19 vaccine– Just yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine. While the time frame for distribution remains ambiguous, we will all likely be able to get the vaccine in the upcoming year. The production of the vaccine is an enormous medical feat, and hopefully the distribution will also run smoothly. We have all been anticipating a vaccine since the beginning of the pandemic, and 2021 will be the year that the vaccine begins to restore safety and normalcy in the world. 

A new president– On January 20th, President-Elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated. It will be refreshing to have someone new in the White House after four years of chaos under the Trump Administration. We can all share in excitement, anticipation, and hope that President-Elect Biden’s initiatives will bring positive change in the year ahead.

Tokyo Summer Olympics– The 2020 Summer Olympic Games were cancelled due to the pandemic, which caused disappointment across the globe. Now, athletes and fans can rejoice because the event is rescheduled for the summer of 2021. Olympic athletes dedicate so much time and effort to train for the games, so it is great news that they will be able to compete after the unfortunate but necessary postponement this past summer. Plus we can all look forward to watching!

Movie and TV show releases– I wish I could say we should all look forward to the rescheduled concert dates in 2021, but there is no guarantee that live entertainment will be a possibility in the year ahead due to the continued public health crisis. However, there is a lot of great new entertainment coming in 2021 that we can watch online. Warner Bros. announced that all of their new movie releases will be available for streaming on HBO Max, and they have a lot of highly anticipated films. Further, a lot of TV shows were delayed by the pandemic and have set dates to premiere or return in 2021.

Brown First Years– It is really exciting that the Class of 2024 will finally arrive on campus in January and really become Brown students. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for them to have their first semester of college delayed, but starting college with a spring semester will make for a memorable, fun start to the new year! I am sure the incoming freshmen are thrilled to begin their time at Brown, and I know the rest of the Brown community is excited to welcome these new students to campus.

I think we can all agree that the universe owes us a year of good news after the difficulties of 2020. We can’t predict all that 2021 will bring, but it is nice to know that there are some exciting things to look forward to in the year ahead. Let’s hope that there are many unexpected positive events as well! Happy New Year!

Hannah is a sophomore at Brown from the D.C. area in Virginia. She is concentrating in public policy.
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