Tips for bringing in the new year safely

Madeline Bruce, Features Editor

Like so much else in 2020, New Year’s Eve looks a lot different from past years. Typically, bars, houses, restaurants and most notably, Times Square are packed with partygoers celebrating the moment the clock strikes midnight and a new year full of new possibilities is entered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused missed holidays, birthdays, graduations and momentous occasions that so often call for in-person celebration. Now, as people watch the disappointing year that was 2020 pass by, the in-person celebrations with friends and family that are so commonly held to commemorate the new year are not able to safely be held. However, that doesn’t mean that the transition into 2021 is less deserving of celebration than any other year.

Celebrating the new year at home might not be ideal, especially for college students. Because the typical way to celebrate is not in line with COVID-19 safety, it can seem like New Year’s Eve won’t be as exciting as usual. This creates the perfect time to implement new traditions to mark the end of an exhausting year.


Reflect on the past year.

Whether this is by talking to a family member or friend or writing in a journal, reflecting on the good things that happened in 2020 is the perfect way to celebrate its end. While at first glance, it may look like there is not much cause for happiness this year, that doesn’t mean there weren’t good moments among the stressful and disappointing ones, too. Take some time to reflect on something good that came out of 2020, whether that be a personal accomplishment, implementation of a healthy habit, or some form of personal growth. Give yourself a pat on the back for accomplishing something amid difficult times.


Celebrate virtually with friends.

Although visiting with friends via virtual platforms like Zoom, FaceTime or Skype is nowhere near the same as seeing them in person, taking time to visit with those you care about as the year comes to a close is the perfect way to end 2020 and start 2021. Hold a virtual New Year’s Eve dinner and catch up with friends or family you haven’t talked to in a while. Talk about the highs and lows of the year, each of your favorite moments and some moments that tested your faith. FaceTime as you watch the ball drop. If you’re of age, make some cocktails and toast to the end of a year that couldn’t come soon enough. It might not be the same as toasting in person, but you’ll feel the warmth of good company through your screen.


Cozy up for the night.

It’s been a rough year, and what better way to spend it than lying on the couch and watching your favorite movie or TV show? Make your favorite drink or snack, find the fluffiest blanket you have and settle in for a night of relaxation and binge-watching. Even if you worked from your couch all year — or more than you thought you would — kicking back with a good movie and good food is a relaxing way to ring in the new year.


Do something that’s good for the soul.

Whether it’s taking a virtual yoga class – like ones you can find here – meditating, journaling or making a vision board, do something that is mindful and will help you transition thoughtfully into the new year. Light a candle and start that book you’ve been wanting to read. Do whatever is your idea of good for the soul, conventional or unconventional. The idea is to do something for you.


Set goals for the next year.

Resolutions are too rigid. In fact, the definition is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” Goals, however, don’t sound as daunting or hard to attain. Take time to set goals that are within reach for 2021. Cover a range, from school to personal life, finances and self-care, so that growth can occur in all facets of your life. Keep in mind the goals you set for 2020 and how you achieved or fell short of them and remind yourself that not attaining every goal on your list is OK. Growth comes one small step at a time.

It’s no doubt that 2020 has been a difficult year all around. However, good can still be found in a year that was plagued by so many negative events. Rounding it out by staying low-key and safe, yet still celebrating, is the perfect way to end a taxing year and start a clean, blank slate for 2021.



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