Silva: ‘A happy new year?’

This illustration represents the general differences in goals (specifically resolutions) we set for ourselves last January (2020), as compared to this January (2021).

Artur Silva, Columnist

Editor’s Note: This column does not represent the opinion of The Daily Barometer. This column reflects the personal opinions of the writer.

Every new year, people tend to evaluate what they would like to improve upon in the coming year. Whether you call them resolutions, plans, objectives or goals, in 2021 they will most likely be impacted by the pandemic. 

In contrast to most days feeling the same, the shift from 2020 to 2021 did not feel the same as previous years, the struggle of an unprecedented pandemic making things very uneasy.

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Adam Schwartz, associate professor of Language, Culture and Society at Oregon State University, has personally never been an enthusiast of the idea of new year’s resolutions. 

“It’s hard to commit to promises you can’t keep,” Schwartz said. “But I also know that it is a chance for people to set goals and seek some clarity, maybe commit to being a better version of themselves,” 

For many people, the start of a new calendar year was not meaningful with COVID-19 still prevalent around the country and world. This past year did not hit the spot when it comes to achieving desirable goals; but will 2021 be the same?

New year’s resolutions are always brought up once a year is coming to a close; it seems as if the new “cycle” is the perfect time to set up your new goals, challenges and desires for the future. Due to unforeseen reasons, resolutions may end up having to wait another year.

The pandemic has definitely made it harder for people to keep such promises, as the United States currently faces nearly 4,000 deaths per day, and many have lost their jobs; it seems safe to say that it does not feel like the right time to partake in resolutions.

“I didn’t have resolutions per say, but I did have goals, and they have been pushed back,” Schwartz said. “I’m currently living in Los Angeles, I was supposed to get back to Oregon and my plan was to live in Eugene,[Ore.] starting a new life there while still working in Corvallis, and I was looking forward to that new chapter.”

Similar to Schwartz, my plans to return to the U.S. were put on a hold, something I would imagine many other international students are also having to deal with.

 

During the past year, the expectation of having a normal 2021 seemed plausible for quite some time, but the reality is far from “normal.”

 

My desire was to go back to Corvallis in the beginning of 2021, but with everything being done remotely, and the current dangers of international flying, I decided to stay home, in Brazil.

 

Sometimes you need to stop, pause for a moment, to figure your next steps. And I feel the need to add that, sometimes the world pauses against your will, and you have to play with the cards you’re dealt.

 

Facing similar difficulties, Kase Allouzi, fourth-year student at OSU, said no one came to him to talk about resolutions this year. In 2020, Allouzi said his resolutions to become healthier were going well until the pandemic began, which was when things went downhill.

“I wanted to exercise and go to the gym, but gyms aren’t open, or aren’t safe. I wanted to eat healthier and buy organic foods, but with COVID, my hours at kind of fell a little bit so I’m not able to buy the healthiest items,” Allouzi said.

This transition to a new year, did not feel like a transition at all, as the problems that the pandemic brought, remain the same.

“The first [of Jan.] was just like Dec. 28; there was no difference, no one was able to leave, no one’s able to do anything and people are stressed,” Allouzi said.

It seems as if grabbing onto hope is what’s left for the year to come, with the vaccine distribution starting to take place, expectations are up that 2021 may turn out to be a fruitful year.