All right folks, don’t panic, but we have (less than) one month left until 2020. I know that this doesn’t really mean anything, and that decades are an arbitrary way to measure the passing of time, but this feels like a big deal, right?? Most of my childhood took place in the 2010s. My favorite music, movies, TV shows, and fashion trends come from this weird era that we don’t quite have perspective of yet, but that will soon become very much part of the past as the new decade begins. The 2010s were a wild ride, but then again, as a 19-year-old college student, they encompassed so much of my life that assigning this decade label to over half of my life doesn’t actually make that much sense. Regardless, 2020 feels like a big year. In one month, I’m leaving behind the 2010s. By September, I’ll be leaving my teenage years; the first half of my undergraduate college experience. What will the 2020s have to offer, besides endless opportunities for The Great Gatsby references, and hopefully the return of some 1920’s fashion trends? And what will we remember as distinctive about the 2010s in a few years’ time? As a millennium baby, I also have the unique experience of entering my 20s right alongside the world. Where will we all be in another ten years? Will I be living in Boston, pursuing my current dream job with the same incredible friends I’m with today? Or will I be in a wildly different place, in a new city, working in a different field, with unfamiliar people and fond memories of those original goals I had set for myself in undergrad? Maybe I’m thinking too hard about this— maybe 2020 will come and go, and I’ll feel no different. But in traditional New Year’s fashion, this one really does feel a bit different. Not only do we have a whole new year to think about and plan for and make resolutions about, but we also have an entire decade to leave our mark on.
Whether entering 2020 is also giving you an existential crisis about the passage of time or I’m totally alone in that boat, the new year always provides the promise of a fresh start. For a lot of us, the past few years have been rough. Every New Year’s Day begins with light-hearted promises that we’ll “make this one our year” and “really stick to those resolutions this time.” And by the next New Year’s Eve, we’ll joke about clawing our way to the end of said year, thankful for the blank slate. Maybe it would be better to put a little less pressure on the next year—the promise of 12 amazing months seems a little absurd anyway. Every year is going to be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and some will leave us more hopeful than others. But I prefer to use the New Year as an excuse to be absurdly optimistic about the future. There are probably going to be some pretty awful moments in 2020. I can think of one major upcoming 2020 event that already makes my stomach turn to think about (*nervous sweating*). But I know for sure that there will be plenty of incredible memories made next year too.