Around this time last year, I remember studying at Rivera and being hopeful for the new year. I thought that 2020 would be my year. I would be turning 21, starting my senior year of college and with it the seemingly last phase of freedom before journeying into the real world. Looking back at my New Year’s resolutions from last year, I felt defeated. Everything I had wished to accomplish or experience was not possible. Now with the new year quickly approaching, the thought of making a New Year’s resolution weighs heavy. 

If 2020 taught me anything, it was to expect the unexpected. For a while now on social media, people would post new contenders for the month that could make 2020 worse: from COVID-19 cases spiking further, to aliens to killer wasps. Amongst everything, 2020 saw it all. While it may have seemed like fun and games, this method of using humor to cope with the stressfulness of 2020 truly did help me. With everyone being stuck at home, most of us congregated on social media sites, such as Twitter and TikTok. I personally feel that without the humor stemming from my peers on social media apps, quarantining would have been so much more lonely. Along with expecting the unexpected, 2020 taught me to cherish friendships.

I’ve met so many new friends in 2020 through various different online platforms. When I wasn’t working, I spent most of my time on my PS4 playing Final Fantasy XIV, a massive multiplayer online role playing game. That game is where I met many amazing and wonderful people who I can call friends. We’ve studied together, had tons of movie nights and done in-game activities. Along with making online friends, I was able to befriend coworkers. Despite 2020 being a terrible year, the silver lining for me is the fact that I truly cherish friendships more than before. 

After a lot of thought I decided my first New Year’s resolution for 2021 was to show my appreciation for friends who appreciate me back. It might seem like a resolution that should already exist or something that’s common sense, but 2020 also taught me that sometimes the people you regard highly don’t appreciate you in the same way. Unfortunately, during my time at UCR, I had one best friend who betrayed my trust and disrespected me to the point of no return. Part of this was my fault, as I chose to ignore all of her problematic behavior and snippy comments, but in 2020, I found out about her true colors and am grateful to not have her in my life because I can now focus on friendships that truly matter. 

My second New Year’s resolution: Stand up for myself. Growing up, I let my family talk down to me out of fear of being yelled at for speaking up. This is something that followed me into adulthood with significant others and friendships. I let a relationship go on for so long while knowing it was unhealthy. I let the person that I thought was my best friend say and do hurtful things to me. I wasn’t strong enough to stand up for myself.  Although I am still not strong enough, I know that by continuing to stand up for myself, even with little things, I can become strong. 

My third New Year’s resolution: to manifest good health for everyone. A resolution that has always been on my list is wishing health and happiness for everyone. Recently I have become knowledgeable in the powers of manifesting and spirituality in order to attain goals. Whether that be from career goals to manifesting good days it is something that I will practice more and use it to manifest for everyone I know to maintain good health in 2021. The global pandemic, however, has brought on a new meaning to this resolution with many people passing away from the virus or being seriously ill from it. I am manifesting for everyone, including you, to be healthy this new year. 

Although my three resolutions might not seem like much, each of them hold great significance in my life, and I hope to be able to accomplish them as best as I can: to stay healthy, cherish friendships and become a stronger person overall. We’ve all gone through so much this year, and I hope 2021 is nicer to us all. 

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