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The new year often leads to a period of reflection when we all look back at the year we have endured and prepare ourselves to charge forward into the future. For me, 2020 felt like a decade, and I have come out the other end 30 years old. However, I now have some hope for 2021: healthcare professionals encourage us to follow the rules and if we do then maybe there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Like you, I am exhausted from only seeing the top halves of people’s faces and inhaling the sweet smell of sanitizer from a socially safe distance. At this point, I would take the vaccine in my eyeball just for this to be over. Until then though, I am actively trying to change my mindset to be more positive and, yes, more optimistic about the year to come. Here are some reasons you should too: 

Netflix is releasing a new movie every week for the entire year of 2021
Netflix on Macbook screen
Photo by cottonbro by Pexels

Don’t believe it? I didn’t either, but look here! These movies include the final instalments of ‘The Kissing Booth’ and ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’. And the good news doesn’t end there, as Dwayne Johnson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lawrence are all confirmed to be gracing our (laptop) screens as this year goes on. 

Exciting new music releases 

One thing that even a global pandemic couldn’t put on hold was the creation of new music. Just ask Taylor Swift, who knocked everyone’s pants off with two surprise quarantine albums. Man, does that woman ever sleep? This year is already off to a great start, with Olivia Rodrigo instilling a sense of pride in young women as she crushes the Top Charts worldwide. By the way, if you haven’t been following the entertaining drama that spilled out in her lyrics, the tea is hot. Moreover, Drake, Adele, Zayn Malik, Rihanna, and Kendrick Lamar are just a few of the stars who are teasing new music. Hold on to your speaker’s kids, because this year has some great potential. 

We will be grateful for everything, and that will make things that much better 

The moment I cannot wait for (which I hope will come this year) is when we all let our guards down and COVID-19 is history. From that day forward there is no doubt that we will savour every walk into the grocery store mask-free, every hug with our grandparents, and every sleepover with our friends. The small, normal things will become big deals, filling us with feelings of gratitude that will make every moment that much sweeter. 

Communities and supporting local 
Woman wearing mask holding “Open” sign
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

We have seen this message everywhere, even before the pandemic, but it is now more than ever before that mass amounts of people are taking it to heart. Researchers have illustrated that there is a new surge of consumers supporting their communities, and I am sure that we can all think of how our communities have touched our lives in some way this year. I believe that this behavioural shift towards prioritizing community will not fade away with the virus. We have heard the phrase “a new normal” being thrown around in the media lately, and at first, this scared me. Upon more thought, however, I have concluded that a new normal really means that people will be more empathic, that local coffee shops and independent sellers will thrive with their loyal customers’ support, and that there will be a general consensus to have each other’s backs – I am looking forward to that. 

I hope that after reading this article you’re feeling excited about what is to come this year. Pandemic or not, we have reasons to be excited, and there is hope that parts of our normal will return. But for now, charge your speakers and pull up your Netflix until the world is ready for us to be together again. 

Sophia Khan

St Andrews '24

Hi there! My name is Sophia and I am a Canadian studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. I'm currently studying Sustainable Development and Management. I love to travel and have visited over 20 countries! I enjoy any topics in the sphere of health, wellness and fitness.
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