2021: Student Reflections for the New Year


Ansley White ’22

Madeline Kwan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As the earth continues to revolve around the sun, another year has passed. Students at ODA are welcoming a new year while they reflect on 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak of the recent year has brought about a change to everyone’s life. 

However, a few students expressed how they have encountered something positive this year.

One particular senior, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has said that she is grateful that “[her] family and friends are in good health” and that they have “stayed safe.”

Another anonymous senior admitted feeling a bit overwhelmed during her junior year. However, after outlining goals for her future plans regarding college, she is feeling much more confident.

Ansley White ‘22 is proud that the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team advanced to the regional semi-finals. 2020 was definitely a challenging year for sports, and she believes that “it was amazing for us to make it so far with such a young team and having less games than any of the other teams.”

These students have faced multiple challenges throughout the year, but have also had the opportunities to grow. 

One challenge the first senior mentioned was “accepting that certain things are ending even before they really started.” For this senior, it “broke [her] heart” that she would not be able to go to football games this year. She further states how “it has been difficult to accept that this is my one and only senior year and it is not what I expect or what anyone expected.

However, she has grown to become “more grateful” this year for the things that used to be a given before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She used to say, “I hope graduation is good,” but now says, “I hope we get to have a graduation.”

The other aforementioned senior used the extra time during the pandemic quarantine for personal reflection. She discovered room for improvement, and realized how it’s “difficult to separate what society considers to be a flaw and what you as an individual consider to be a flaw.” 

During the pandemic, this senior thought about “who I want to be, and how I’m going to get there.”

This self-reflection allowed her to grow because it encouraged her to set goals, and she gained confidence by “learning to love the things about yourself that you can’t change, but also [changing] the things about yourself that you want to [change].”

White has grown in her “ability to be flexible and quickly adjust to different situations.”

These challenges during 2020 led to growth in the students. Each one, however, has different hopes for 2021.

The first anonymous senior wishes for juniors to “have a normal, great senior [year and] to experience all the traditions such as Homecoming, Prom, Convocation, Spirit Day, Senior Retreat, Kindergarten and Freshmen buddies, and Graduation.”

Similarly, White also hopes for an eventual return to some standard of normalcy. She wishes “to see friends and family and be able to hug them without worrying about corona,” while the second anonymous senior hopes that “this new me will be able to create as strong of friendships as the old me has.”

Finally, as with every end to a year, students have been given the chance to come up with their New Year’s resolutions. 

The first anonymous senior would like to read more for her resolution. In middle school, she read all the time but has “slowly gotten out of the habit.”

Likewise, the second anonymous senior would also like to read more and continue staying fit since she will not be partaking in college sports.

For White’s New Year’s resolution, she would like to start being more “environmentally friendly” with what she buys and eats. 

2020 has been an abnormal year, but it has given some students the necessary time and atmosphere to shape the new year with new motivations, new goals, and new routines.