Branching out in 2021

Make the most of this year so it can be YOUR year


Summer Campbell, Reporter

I think all of us can agree that 2020 is not what we expected to be. What was supposed to be considered the start of the “roaring twenties” turned into a year that tested our strengths and caused us to focus on what really matters in our lives. With this challenging year behind us, the thought of what is to come in 2021 is now the forefront in our minds. Even though things may not be the same as they were, there are still some things to look forward to in 2021 and even new things to try. 



Concerts are one of the main forms of entertainment that have been impacted this year and it is hard to say if they will happen in 2021. Either way, having a virtual concert with friends and family is another way to listen to your favorite music. You can social distance, bring food, and vibe to the music. 



If you’re a senior like me, graduation may be a bit different this year. It isn’t clear how a graduation will happen but to make the most of it you can have a graduation car parade. This was used in 2020 for previous seniors too. To be with friends and family that may not attend the parade, have a zoom party! 



Not everyone needs a hobby, but if you find yourself bored during 2021 because you can’t see your friends, possibly try starting something new. Every hobby doesn’t have to be like knitting or jewelry making (unless that’s what you’re into), but you could even start a collection of things such as mugs, vinyls, or candles.



Every year someone says “new year, new me” and maybe that is true, but I’d rather say “new year, new style.” Try changing your room decor by painting or getting new decor. Maybe even expand your wardrobe collection by going thrifting and shopping. Kailee Trang, senior at Urbana High School, said that she always felt the need “to fit a certain image and when quarantine occurred that wasn’t a standard anymore.” She took this opportunity to find herself a style that was comfortable and expressed herself in the best way possible.



While this may seem like a basic action to do, talking about your feelings and controversial topics is something to look forward to this year. In 2020, lots of us were forced to use our voice to communicate with our friends, family, and to make a difference. Use your voice this year to create change and have those tough conversations that can provide insight into a new perspective. 



If you don’t already do so, practicing self care is extremely important. This includes getting enough sleep, exercising, meditating, drinking water, and so much more. In 2021, focus on what your mental and physical self needs. A senior at Urbana, Ava Gayowski, states that she participates in journaling which has allowed her to “write down everything that’s on my mind and brain dump which I find very detoxifying.” These practices can not only improve your mental mind, but can help you get through these hard times that we are still in.



Creating a new normal in your life doesn’t have to be challenging or stressful. There is hope to be able to enjoy the things before the virus hits and that may be due to the new vaccine. Zoë Nelson, senior at Urbana, expressed her excitement for getting fully vaccinated, saying “I will continue to wear a mask, but being able to go places without having to worry about putting others or myself at risk will allow me to do so much more.” 


I don’t blame you for possibly feeling anxious or doubtful about this year. The unexpected always brings uncertainty, but it is in this uncertainty that you can choose to make something out of it and be optimistic for 2021. Whether you try or look forward to these things mentioned, one thing is for sure: you are not alone.