VT Campus Snow

Winter Storm Diego arrives in Blacksburg, Dec. 9, 2018.

2020 brought it with many trials and tribulations, a roller coaster of ups and downs that weathered us all. As we reflect on our growth and positive change from 2020 and our resolutions for a hopefully brighter 2021, some writers from the Lifestyles section wanted to compile a couple gratitudes that helped them through this hectic time and personal goals for the upcoming year. 

Matthew Harris (Senior, Computer Science)

In this year defined by isolation and loneliness, I am most thankful for the people that rode out the storm with me. In the early parts of the year this was my immediate family learning to put up with my abnormal college work schedule. In the later parts of the year it was my roommates, four of my best friends, supporting me through my hardest semester both in terms of academics and my own mental fortitude. Though my support group may have dwindled in size this year, I have never felt closer to the most important people in my life than I did this year. Thus, my resolution going into 2021 is to better appreciate the people closest to me. Everyone around me has been so supportive, and I’d like to try to reciprocate that more often in 2021 and beyond.

Emily Carter (Senior, Multimedia Journalism)

At the start of 2020, I told myself that I would be doing more things that would bring me joy or happiness and less things that stressed me out brought me unhappiness, whether that be saying no to going out with “friends” or changing what I wanted for dinner one night. I realized that I wasted too much time on things that wouldn’t bring me joy and by doing things that made me happy affected my mood and my outlook on life. This year was pretty bleak, but making a small lifestyle change had a big positive impact on my year. My goal for 2021 is to continue to make decisions that make me happy and to also spend more time with people that bring me joy because this year has made me realize who my true friends are.

Brandon Alimanestiano (Senior, Multimedia Journalism)

As much as I have despised the past non-aesthetically pleasing three seasons, I equally despise the fact that I am a little grateful for what all happened in terms of how it made me take a step back and watch myself for a little while. No, I am not a schizophrenic. I am an extrovert caught in a pandemic, though, so take these words with a varying level of caution. The first year of this otherwise thrilling decade made me realize who I can count on, and while everything I wiggled myself into this year ended in a fiery shooting ball of metaphorically burning flames, at least I know now where it is safe to cross and who was never in the first place. Bridge burning shouldn’t be made in fear of being accused of arson, at least without a toothy smile upon your face. I hope that sticks. I finally have a direction now, and know what I want to do with my life, even if that is still just a general point on the compass I found in my friend’s backpack. It took a global pandemic to do that and nothing less. Isn’t that insane? It’s neurotic at best. My goal for 2021, well, let's call it an aspiration, is to rebuild those ashen bridges; not with the same people, but with better, and to start the story that I want those to read. 

Olivia Ferrare (Freshman, General Engineering)

So many people told me this was going to be the best year of my life. Experiencing the traditions at the end of high school, walking the stage with my childhood friends, enjoying one last carefree summer and growing into my own adult self as a college freshman were just a couple of events I was looking forward to on Jan. 1st, 2020. While many of the “life-changing” moments played out differently than imagined, I am so grateful for the support I had and the people I weathered this year with. Virginia Tech, thank you for providing me with a new home full of wonderful people that have become family. I can’t imagine life without my hallmates,CDP,math study group,FLEX friends, my favorite study spot in Major Williams and Gillie’s french toast. Tech has forced me to grow and become more responsible as I navigate a crazy school schedule and new routines hundreds of miles away from all I’ve known. In the new year, I want to do more for myself, become a more independent and self-aware person while still giving my all in relationships. Also, it probably wouldn’t hurt to be better at math. While I’m not sure about 2020 being my best or favorite year, I’ll be striving to make 2021 a real contender with some great memories and amazing people.

Thank you for your continued support throughout 2020, and we hope you have a safe and happy New Year!

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