As we continue through the final month of 2020, many of us reflect on the events that took place and wonder how so many horrible things could have happened in the span of one year. We witnessed historical and contentious political events, natural disasters that wreaked havoc on the nation and most memorably, we faced an unprecedented worldwide pandemic.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus had impacted us in ways that took away from our traditional high school experience. Once our schools shut down, everything else we hoped to have was gone. Spring sports were canceled, there was no prom, no one could enjoy the chilly Friday night football games and we could no longer see our teachers and friends. We lost a lot of what we took for granted.
It is easy to dwell upon the terrible events of this year but we must also not forget to recognize the positives. If 2020 has taught us one thing, it is that we must look for the good parts of life and remain hopeful, and that is just what some Masuk students did.
One of those students is junior Phoebe Owen, who has felt the impact of a changing school setting. Even though it may not have been easy to deal with, it ended up giving her a chance to better connect with her friends.
“We were all so caught up in school, we weren’t able to be as close as we are now. Even though we couldn’t see each other during quarantine, we were able to connect even more than we had been before through texting, social media, and Facetime,” said Owen.
For 2021, Phoebe remains hopeful that COVID cases will decrease so she will be able to see her friends without worry, a wish many of us also share.
Next, we have senior Justin Guinta, who has still managed to give back to his community and provide help to those who needed it amid the pandemic.
“The biggest thing that I’ve contributed to was the planning and execution of a fundraiser for veterans in November, and we raised nearly $10,000 in donations! It was truly a great experience to have a hand in,” stated Guinta.
Even though these events are now put on pause, Justin is looking forward to the new experiences he will face next year, especially when he goes off to college.
Finally, there is senior Mary O’Connor, who has had some impactful, yet happy, changes in her life this year.
“One good thing that has happened to me this year is that my mom bought a new house,” said O’Connor. “Although moving was a little hectic in the midst of a pandemic and school, it has been really fun being able to design a new space and turn our house into a home.”
Like many people, Mary has been looking towards the positives of this year, and hopes that she can continue to do this to make every experience the best that it can be.
“I hope to approach each day with a sense of positivity and gratitude and not allow the external factors of life to dictate my potential for growth. Hopefully by being more positive within my own life, I can encourage others to be happier,” said O’Connor.
We can remember 2020 as the year our lives were put on hold, but like Phoebe, Justin and Mary, we can also look back on the joyful and wonderful experiences that came with it. Strive to remember the good parts of this year, and let that lead you to happiness and success in 2021.