Looking at 2021 with positivity

S. Gebka

S. Gebka

Sara Gebka

The past year has been a rough time for many students, myself included, leading many to feel unmotivated and have pessimistic mindsets that followed them into the new year.
While it is difficult to keep an open mind when the world, and even personal struggles, begin crumbling down, there are ways to try to stay optimistic, or at the very least, stay motivated during the new year.
When the pandemic first hit, junior Anna Brown, like many students, was impacted by the drastic changes that were implemented. Suddenly, everyday life began to shift into worry and confusion. Life became overwhelming for many, like a broken tap that was running water in an overflowing sink.
“Quarantine has definitely made things harder with not being able to see family and friends. It was also very confusing because not a lot of people had gone through it before and no one knew what was going to happen next,” Brown said.
Throughout the summer, it was difficult for many students, including Brown, to find ways to stay motivated. Like many wary families, Brown’s parents did not allow their daughter to go to many places due to the risks.
“It was hard being stuck in the house 24/7 and it was crazier that I didn’t know what to do with my spare time,” Brown said.
Many students, myself included, also had difficulty keeping themselves sane throughout the summer. While some students participated in risky behaviors, like partying every few days or disregarding precautions for social distancing, many stayed at home and tried to occupy themselves as much as possible.
“I have kept myself motivated over quarantine by trying out new hobbies, including improving on the ukulele, drawing, learning the piano, and baking cookies or some type of fun dessert at least once a week,” Brown said. “I also kept myself motivated by trying to be outside by going for a walk or biking as much as possible for some fresh air.”
Hobbies can greatly affect a person’s motivation and can add a more optimistic light to these struggling times. However, while hobbies are great factors in coping during these times, that is not enough for many people. Another part would be communicating with others, which was greatly affected by the shutdown. Thankfully, in this day and age, cell phones exist.
“I am grateful for phones, face-timing friends, and having family that has motivated me and made me feel less lonely through these times,” Brown said. “It was comforting to know that we were going to get through this together.”
While keeping yourself occupied is a great way in feeling more optimistic and motivated, there is still a part of student health that should be mentioned: mental health.
Throughout quarantine, I, like many students, have struggled greatly due to emotional and mental distress because of COVID. You might be struggling through it too.
It is important to realize that you are not alone during this pandemic. There are people out there who will care and support you any way that they can. While it does take a lot of courage to talk to someone about what you are feeling, it is worth it in the long run.
Being able to talk out those feelings can help a person feel less of a burden on their shoulders and a little less alone during these troubled times.
Additionally, there is a chance that speaking to someone can give light to a more optimistic outlook on the situation.
With everything that has been happening for the past year, it is important to recognize your own needs and wants while successfully getting through the new year. From feeling motivated to finishing up work to being able to have a more optimistic attitude towards the new year, students will have a better understanding of finishing up the rest of the school year with successful grades.
“I plan on staying motivated by continuing to try new things knowing that I don’t have to go somewhere to have fun and be happy,” Brown said. “I’ll try my best to stay positive with everything going on and keep trying my best at school.”