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As exam season wraps up and we usher in the holiday season, the end of 2020 likely weighs heavy on many of our minds. This year has been many things: interesting, anxiety-inducing, and, at times, quite frankly awful. As the months of 2020 passed, it seemed as though the state of the world continued to get worse than we had previously thought possible. From the COVID-19 pandemic, to the many challenges–economic, mental, educational–it has brought about, millions of people around the world–including myself–have felt on at least one occasion this year that they had hit, or were at the very least approaching, rock bottom. And whilst these feelings and their causes will not magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2021, we might be able to rest a little bit easier knowing that at some point–likely very soon–things can only go up from here.

For me, it’s so easy to get caught up in everything that went awry this year: online classes, the pandemic, numerous personal challenges that I won’t name here, and much more. Certainly I am not the only one feeling this way. 2020 has been, for lack of a better term, a dumpster fire. Plain and simple. However, that does not mean that there haven’t been moments of joy sprinkled throughout, nor that there won’t be many events and achievements worth celebrating in the upcoming year. When I reflect on this year, while it has undoubtedly been taxing, there are numerous things I am grateful for: my husband finally received his Canadian permanent residency, we recently brought home a puppy, I managed to complete the fall semester without going completely insane, and COVID vaccines are on the way. I am confident that things will continue to get better from here. Whilst there will be no magical switch on New Year’s Day, eventually, the good will outweigh the bad. If you have had less things to be thankful for this year than I, or if you are struggling with the state of the world right now, I hope this fact brings you solace. 

Keep your chin up, and keep waiting. The good will eventually come. If you’ve hit a rough patch, or feel you are currently sitting at rock bottom, I have good news for you: there’s only up from here. Keep safe this holiday season, and soon, this will all be behind us. 

Stephanie Shin

U Alberta '22

Stephanie Shin (she/her) is a third year honours pre-law student, majoring in sociology and minoring in political science. When she's not studying fervently, you can find her enjoying a book, sipping at a cup of tea, playing with her miniature dachshund, Bentley, and spending entirely too much money on food.
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