BY: ALYSSA GREENBAUM

With 2020 coming to an end, some students at the Bay like freshman Maddox Olenick are looking forward to the new year with new possibilities. Olenick said he has begun pursuing his new year’s resolutions and other plans for this school year.

“I’m expecting the new year to be a lot better than last year,” Olenick said. “I am excited to leave 2020 and start new because I feel that in 2021 I can better myself if I put in the effort so I’ve made some goals and have started to study harder.”

Olenick said that last year was long and draining for him due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stress because of school. He said he is optimistic towards the prospect of having the virus die down with the introduction of vaccines in the new year. 

“In terms of the pandemic, I hope we will be able to make progress towards further developing the vaccine and getting rid of the virus,” Olenick said. “They’ve already started developments and in 2021, some are already being administered so it’s good news.”

Freshman Jada Moore said with the COVID-19 vaccines being released, she is hopeful the case numbers of those contracting the virus will begin to decline. She said hopefully with the vaccine she will be able to engage in her hobbies more consistently assuming that interactions will be safer.

“My expectations for the new year are that things will become more consistent,” Moore said. “With the vaccine creating some immunity for people, it would be easier for me to stick with specific things continuously, such as playing tennis and guitar, which require me to interact with other people.”

Aside from being able to engage in her hobbies more frequently, Moore said she has set herself some personal goals, such as honing in on her ability to play guitar and acquire high test scores for the upcoming year. She said she is also working towards improving her tennis skills to make it on the Bay’s tennis team.

“I’m hoping to get good grades on my AICE exams, even with the difficulty of online school,” Moore said. “I am also hoping to make it onto the tennis team this year because it’s been a big aspiration for me.”

Algebra Honors teacher, Denise Goodwin, said she is also looking forward to the new year and is hopeful that it will be better than the last. She said she is eager for places to start opening up again, such as Disney World.

I am hoping and expecting that we are back in school [this year],” Goodwin said. “Also, Disney World is fully open and operational for weekend getaways, which is exciting.”

Goodwin said she understands many students enjoy the online format as it may feel more relaxed to them. However, she said attending school in-person should be considered at some point for the 2021 school year as there are various benefits to physically being in school.

“I don’t think, as a student, I would be aware of how much I was missing out on in terms of education,” Goodwin said. “School is important for so many reasons that I think I would want to be back, like having peer-to-peer interactions and not sitting in one place the whole day.”

Olenick said he misses spending quality time with his friends. He said although he finds e-learning to be more convenient for him, he misses seeing friends every day in his classes and hopes his parents will feel more comfortable sending him to school this year.

“I still am able to see some of my friends while I am at hockey practice, but I miss hanging out with my friends all the time at school,” Olenick said. “Hopefully by the start of next year, the situation will improve and my parents will feel more confident in sending me back to school this year so we can all be back in school together.”

Goodwin said being quarantined is vital to help prevent the spread of the virus; however, she is aware it has a negative impact on students’ mental health, which is why she is hopeful schools are open in full-capacity by the first few months of 2021. She said for the time being, it is important for students to remain resilient and hold onto positive affirmations to start the year off strong in 2021.

“Looking back to my high school years, the first thing I would miss would be friends and even my frenemies, so I can imagine how hard it must be for my students,” Goodwin said. “To get through the year, the best thing anyone can do is to live simply, love generously, care deeply and speak kindly, and hopefully by 2021 we’ll see each other again.”