The Gray Area: First Impressions on the New Year


Blake Catlett

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF 2021 — Senior Columnist Grayson Catlett celebrating the start of a new year.

Grayson Catlett, Columnist

At the time of writing, the first month of 2021 has somehow already passed. January always seemed to be the most polarizing month of the year, and this January carried that tradition: the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the inauguration of Joe Biden, the Robinhood-GameStop fiasco, the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more. People who had hoped for a better year might be disappointed so far, but in that lies the biggest question; do people believe that the craziness of January will continue, or do they see a silver lining in upcoming months? Out of the three respondents for this question, all three voiced optimism for the rest of 2021.

Senior Dallana Nolazco noticed a change in attitude as the year began.

It seems like this year is a bit more hopeful. Society is adapting to the new changes and lifestyle that COVID-19 has brought. I know it’s the start of the year, but a lot of changes and doors are opening up,” Nolazco explained. “I do feel like the rest of the year will be better.”

Another senior, Africa Phinizey, was generally pleased with the turn of the year.

My first impression of 2021 is that it seems pretty chill to me, except the Capitol situation,” mentioned Phinizey. “That threw 2021 into a bad start, but overall… everything seems to be going well.”

English teacher Casey Hale also weighed in on the discussion.

Of course, there have been quite a few crazy moments in the first few weeks of 2021, but I believe this year is going to be a year of change or at least a year where we get back to something that resembles normal,” said Hale.

She also mentioned that she came to the new year with more experience for virtual teaching.

“I definitely feel more confident in my ability to teach and get to know my students in a virtual setting, so that is one positive,” Hale explained.

Nolazco, Phinizey, and Hale all agreed that COVID-19 safety is key for the year to get better as it goes along.

Sure, we don’t have the same events or opportunities as we would in a normal… environment, but as long as everyone does their part against the virus, I think we can bring back a bit of the normal,” Nolazco said.

Hale added that teacher vaccinations could aid in the return to normalcy; Phinizey emphasized “safe and fun activities” for people as the pandemic advances.

“Just keep people on a positive side and try to limit bad situations,” Phinizey concluded.

Despite the disorder that 2020 brought into 2021, it seems that people are mostly confident as they reach further into the new year. A lot remains to be seen in the next eleven months, but hopefully, with safety and optimism in mind, we can not only return to normalcy, but create something that is better than normalcy.