Retracing our steps in 2021
Students reflect on the defining events of this year, trends and tragedies alike
December 15, 2021
This year was filled with covid updates, vaccine approvals and return to in-person school. However, 2021 was not just a year of covid-related news. TikTok trends, movies and music rose to the top, creating entertainment trends to guide us through this year of hardship.
Despite the current mask mandate and numerous promotions for getting the vaccine, the impacts of covid are still up in the air by the end of the year. Covid has affected families and friends—people had to move depending on where they lived in the world. Danish Akbar, junior, transferred during the first quarter of school leaving behind his parents, coming to a whole new school and country. According to Danish, moving to America came as a surprise. It was a last minute decision to leave with his older brother.
“I lived in Botswana and covid really affected life over there (in Botswana), 2021 changed my life,” Danish said.
Many students still have not been able to experience major life moments such as a family member’s wedding, birthdays and celebrations for holidays.
“My brother’s Bar Mitzvah was during covid and my sister got exposed so she wasn’t able to attend,” Campbell Gideon, sophomore, said. “Half of my brother’s Bar Mitzvah was on Zoom. It’s supposed to be a huge ceremony with all young people and there weren’t a bunch of people there, and I felt really bad.”
Hectic. Stressful. Irritating.”
— Elliott McKeever, junior
Feeling normal again
After a year of eLearning and everyone coming back to school, many students without previous knowledge of interacting in high school have had to adjust. With opening up more and being able to be amongst other students this year, students are starting to think things are slowly going back to normal.
“I get to see everyone and not just some people and we’re sitting at lunch with actual people,” Delaney Craig, sophomore, said. “So there’s much more communication. I just feel like things are starting to get back to where they were.”
Boring. Weird. Unforgettable.”
— Kylie Slough, junior
Unity amidst the chaos
After the tragedies and hardship of this year, entertainment platforms have provided a means to unplug from the tension and pressure. Various TikTok trends have taken the world by storm, such as the well-known Devious Licks. Devious Licks was a challenge involving stealing school property. Soap dispensers disappeared from school bathrooms and left many students unable to wash their hands. As a result of the challenge, students must have a pass on hand when using the restroom. However, not all TikTok challenges have brought about destruction. The Angelic Yield challenge countered Devious Licks, with those who participated returning stolen items or leaving soap, toilet paper and even money in restrooms.
“My favorite trend was the Angelic Yield challenge,” Isaac Ramirez, junior, said. “(It was memorable) not only because it sort of reversed the effects of the Devious Licks challenge, but it also showed that some people on the internet are good.”
Compared to the unknowns of last year, some students feel as if trends have provided a sense of peace. The entertainment this year was able to create unity amidst the chaos.
“It was cool to see people still being able to interact on a large scale,” Harrison North, senior, said. “People (are) still enjoying life, especially when life is constantly filled with negative things.”
Delusional. Crazy. Entertaining.”
— Addison Dzurovick, sophomore
Social media has not only provided trends, but a platform for showing support. Over the course of the year, more awareness was spread both locally and nationally for stigmatized subjects, such as mental health. Awareness has created room for conversation and discussion surrounding such topics.
“A big thing I noticed, especially this year and part of last year, was the booming LGBTQ+ community support,” Campbell Gideon, sophomore, said. “With the GSA Club and Mental Health Club, there’s been such great strides. I think that’s really good for the overall community vibe and the health of everyone.”