2021 was a hard year to fall on. Prematurely dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the first half of the year was spent locked inside rooms and colleges with little to no activities allowed in or outside of campus. I remember everyday to be the same: one would wake up, go downstairs to pick up food, eat in ones own room watching something one had already watched a number of times, hardly socialise, and then go back to bed. It was, undoubtedly, a difficult time but it was also necessary for the sacrifices we made in the first half of the year bore fruit in the former half of the year.
The second half of the year (read Fall semester) came with its own challenges. When you shun social interactions for more than a year, you get used to living alone and indoors. It feels weird, so much so, forced when you finally get to interact with the general people and I know it felt the same to almost all of my friends on campus and outside of it. It take a lot of courage and effort to finally stand up, dress in your best clothes, and go out for a drink or food. I know it may seem silly, almost ridicules, but that’s how bad the things had gotten due to the strict lockdown and restrictions. I was one of the few lucky ones for I got to spend my summer break in Berlin working and I, to some extent, quickly adapted to the reopening of the country, but not everyone could say the same about themselves. I think it’s fair that we appreciate each other for allowing ourselves - and sometimes forcing ourselves - to slowly adhere to the striking changes that fluctuated so many times.
It is also our chance to show our gratitude to the frontline workers and fighters who fought this invisible enemy that shattered so many families and took away so many souls. Let us be kind to each other this coming year and let us bet there for those who lost someone close to them on their way here. Let us sit down and pray for the fallen and let us build a future that is sustainable, quick-to-react, and adaptable so that the next time we face something similar, we may be ready for it.
Looking back at 2021, I cannot pinpoint some incident or a person that really dominated my year and that’s how it should be for ones life never revolves around just one incident or one person. Life is vast and life is about exploring what we have not seen, learning what we do not know, and loving whom we have not met yet.
Life is what we make it to be. I read somewhere that those who dwell in the past stay in the past. So let us move forward but let us move forward cautiously. Let us move forward together. And let us move forward once and for all.