Reflecting on 2021 and Looking Into 2022

2021 has been a very memorable year, and one for the books. While not easy, I’ve learned to appreciate things that I may have taken for granted. As the year wraps up, taking time to reflect on the past and looking forward is important. Here are my thoughts.

The Pandemic At Lehigh

   At the beginning of the year, precautions were much more intense for COVID-19. The second semester of my freshman year was so amazing, but it was not a normal college experience: I had one out of five of my classes in person, social distancing was mandated everywhere and many things were restricted. 

   However, the first semester of my sophomore year feels much more normal. While there are still mask mandates, almost everything else feels like the college experience I expected. I enjoy being able to go to most of my classes in person as opposed to last year because it is easier to learn sitting in a classroom rather than being on Zoom. It feels like things are slowly starting to lighten up.

Things I Loved About 2021

   In my second semester at Lehigh, I felt like things had started to fall into place. I met my best friends, enjoyed my classes and started to get the hang of the whole “college thing.” I didn’t realize that being away from home and learning how to live on your own would give me such a large sense of independence. 

   Once restrictions started to loosen, I was able to travel this year. This summer, I went to Delaware – a state I’ve never visited before, traveled across the country to California and spent time with family that I hadn’t seen for months. These ended up being some of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

   I think some of the most important things I learned this year were through my summer internship. I was an intern at the Oxford Creative Studio in Tampa for around two months, where I worked with social media and graphic design. While this internship was not directly correlated with my major, architecture, I did learn many valuable lessons, such as how to communicate professionally and how to navigate Adobe programs with ease.

   This semester at Lehigh has been fantastic. I live right by all my friends – which is amazing compared to last year. I enjoy all of my classes, and I’ve started to create a more solidified schedule. I think schedules have helped me this semester because they allow me to manage my time and get everything done that I need to.

   At the end of 2020, my anxiety was not in the best spot. I ended up going to therapy after not having gone for years, and it didn’t seem to be helping. In 2021, it feels like a switch has flipped and everything has suddenly fallen into place – my anxiety has improved significantly. I feel happier in almost all aspects of my life and I’ve realized that the things that used to bother me are now trivial.

Resolutions, resolutions, resolutions

   Resolutions are a controversial topic. I don’t think resolutions are necessary, but I do think they are fun. The last two weeks of December are when I start to crack down, think about them and see if I can keep up with my goals in the following year.

  They can be anything, from the classics – working out more, eating better, practicing gratitude – to small personal resolutions. 

   As for what I’m thinking about “resolving” right now, who knows? I think, overall, I had a fantastic year and there’s nothing that I believe needs intense “amending.” I’m excited to move into 2022 and experience new things and learn more about myself every day. We’ve got one month left, cheers!

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