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2021: What’s to Come?

By: Allison Foley (Reporter ‘21)

Due to an error on the Google form distributed, the student responses are anonymous. Though contrary to our current policy of not publishing quotes without attribution, we felt their exclusion would be too great a loss to the article and that their anonymity was uncontroversial.

2020 has been a difficult and confusing year for so many. As we exit such a memorable year, people are entering 2021 with many different perspectives. Some look to it with hopeful eyes, anticipating a year better than the last, while others choose to remain cautious in order to avoid disappointment. I opened the floor up to the students of Friends’ Central to see what they predict for the coming year.

Many people are optimistic, hoping to see the COVID-19 pandemic draw to a close at some point this year. One person said, “I predict that this coming year will be an improvement from last year. COVID cases will go down and things will start going back to normal.” Another student said, “It will hopefully be better for summer and next school year, but I’m not sure about this spring.” Approaching almost a year since COVID-19 first entered the United States, many of us are ready for any possible sense of normalcy. Though the start of a new year does not necessarily solve anything itself, there is an inherent hope that comes with this new beginning: that it may bring an end to some of the chaos, no matter how late into the year that happens. Still, however optimistic we may be, 2020 has taught us not to be too sure of the future, for things can take an unexpected turn shockingly quickly.

It was also clear that there are lots of students who are hesitant to expect much from the new year. “I have a feeling that covid cases are going to get worse over the summer,” said one student. “I do not think that things will get better anytime soon,” said another. Several others expected the new year to be relatively similar to 2020 saying, “I think it’ll be exactly the same as 2020 just with more disappointment” and “I think it will be mainly the same because it doesn’t seem like cases will be dropping for a while.” Disappointment has been an all too familiar feeling recently, and it was evident that these students hope to avoid the feeling altogether by holding low expectations for 2021.

Whether students’ predictions are hopeful or not, the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the new presidency stole the spotlight in students’ predictions. They are right. These two things will certainly impact the way the year plays out. “I think the year will be largely the same, but hopefully better with the new presidency,” said one student. With the transition of power, lots of students hope for eased political tensions, especially given the recent riots at the capitol and the general political polarization that was felt so heavily this past year. In terms of COVID-19, people are looking to the vaccine as a source of hope: “All that matters this year is the vaccine. Then we can finally resume our lives.” As people across the country begin to get vaccinated, there is certainly a new sense of hope, a feeling that there just might be light at the end of the tunnel.

Art by Lavinia Wang '22

Ultimately, no one can perfectly predict the events of 2021. 2020 has forced a lot of us to accept uncertainty as a constant and realize that things can change in an instant. However, at the same time, it is only human nature to think about the future and try to guess what will happen next. It was so interesting to see how different each student’s predictions were. I look forward to seeing which predictions end up being true!

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