Individuals shouldn’t go into new year with false hopes of overnight success, 2021 will be a gradual improvement


Riley Laferriere

As 11:59 p.m. made its way to midnight to welcome 2020, my family cheered and hurrahed to mark the new year. This was the year that was going to totally blow 2019 out of the water, but in my case, and many others, that was not the harsh reality of 2020 that awaited us.
After the COVID-19 virus hit, we started to realize 2020 wasn’t exactly what we had hoped for. Months went by and situations got tougher. A deadly pandemic shut down our country, local businesses closed down, protests took place, and loss was seen frequently for thousands of Americans in everyday life.
Life was on a downhill for many individuals, and I was not thrilled with the outcome of the much awaited new year. Many people started to hope for a clean slate in 2021, and I had to agree. I wanted to be rid of all the horrible things that happened this past year. However, opposed to the traditional “overnight success” attitude surrounding New Year’s Day, I believe positive change will not come immediately, but more gradually.
Even before the clock struck midnight this year, many people were starting to post on social media about their excitement for the end of 2020. Because of these platforms, many others started to believe that great changes would instantly take place when the ball dropped to mark the new year.
Additionally, after midnight I had plenty of friends texting about their own excitement and their view on how 2021 could not possibly be worse than 2020.
I found it ironic how they shared the same view as so many others going into 2020. While they may be correct to have faith in what the future will hold, there is also something to be said about having more realistic hopes.
For me, the biggest focus is to continue to keep the current situation in mind. Sure, the time on the clock represents a fresh start, but the realities within our lives will not likely switch over as well. There will still be the coronavirus, masks and social distancing. There will also be injustices and hardships following us into the future. This is not to say 2021 will be horrible, but rather that it should not be overhyped.
Setting goals to make this year better on a personal scale is not really the issue—and I even encourage the traditional New Year’s resolutions—but assuming everything will be better because of a singular tick of a clock can cause disappointment for many people.
Keeping reality in check and seeing the bigger picture is more important than ever as we start off this new year. There is still much progress to be made to restore the “old normal” and at some point we have to accept the solution will not appear overnight. Instead, we should look to smaller positive outcomes everyday.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Riley Laferriere at [email protected]

To see a graphic perspective about New Year’s Resolutions click here.