Here we are. We did it. You did it. We’ve (almost!) made it to the end of another, very unique year. A lot has happened in 2021. No matter how this year has been to you, the conclusion of it all is a great time for some reflection, something we touched briefly upon in one of our most recent articles on winter fun in Boise. Keep on reading for 5 ½ Things to think about as 2021 comes to a close.
1) Cutting yourself some slack and patting yourself on the back
First and foremost, I think there’s one thing that we all need to hear, “great job”. Not only are most of us navigating higher education, but we’re doing it during one of the most unprecedented times in American, and world, history. If you’re discouraged about your efforts this year, recognize there was much that was quite literally out of your hands and you’re far from the only person feeling overwhelmed. You’ve taken all the punches 2021 has thrown at you, way to go!
2) Things that went well
Just because this year has been unlike any other doesn’t mean that good things haven’t happened. It could be something small like making a new friend, or bumping up your GPA a few points, or starting a new job, or even graduating! Regardless of what it is, there’s some good that happened to all of us this year. Consider thinking about the top five things that happened to you this year and why. A positive attitude to the end of the year can be a perfect segue into the start of 2022!
3) The year’s biggest lessons
There is a lot that we learn in 365 days. Thinking about the most important things you learned this year can help you realize how much you’ve accomplished. Whether it be a new level of expertise in a class or even learning about who you are—lessons in life come in big and small moments.
4) The important people in your life
A year’s end is a great time to think about the people who have really been there for you. Much of our life is about the relationships we build at school, work, and pretty much everywhere else. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much of a positive impact or how much someone has been there for you unless you really take a minute to think about your social circles. Maybe even shoot ‘em a text or a note about how much you value those closest to you.
5) Writing a 2021 “Wrapped”
One of the greatest things that I’ve got in the habit of doing toward the end of every year is writing a yearly “Wrapped”, in the style of Spotify or Apple Music. It’s become a kind of end of the year journal/reflection/yearbook for me, and I’ve found nothing is more satisfying than seeing the way a year has defined you, all written down on paper. I start by answering a few basic questions (favorite/least favorite parts of the year, what I would have done differently, what surprised me) and usually, before I know it, a few hours have passed and several pages have been filled. It’s a great way to center yourself and put the entire year into perspective.
5 ½) Things you’re grateful for
Although these last few years have been nothing short of insane, unusual, stressful, and eye-opening, I think we all realize that we have at least a few things we’re grateful for this year. As we cross over the finish line into the year, be mindful of the things you’re grateful for. Think about putting more effort into the things and people you love and cutting out things which don’t make you happy. And as the fireworks conclude this chapter of our lives on New Years Eve, let it be a reminder that life is good!