Reflecting forward: a message for the Webb community

Here+is+a+beautiful+view+of+the+Colorado+River+I+took+during+my+2020+Unbounded+Days+trip.+The+reflection+of+the+sky+on+the+river+jumped+out+at+me+and+encapsulated+the+idea+of+reflecting+on+yourself.+The+water+is+constantly+flowing+forward%2C+and+the+sky+is+continuously+moving%2C+and+as+humans%2C+we+progress+the+in+the+same+way.+Reflection+is+an+essential+process+contributing+to+your+change+and+growth.

Kaylynn Chang

Here is a beautiful view of the Colorado River I took during my 2020 Unbounded Days trip. The reflection of the sky on the river jumped out at me and encapsulated the idea of reflecting on yourself. The water is constantly flowing forward, and the sky is continuously moving, and as humans, we progress the in the same way. Reflection is an essential process contributing to your change and growth.

As the 2020-2021 school year wraps up, I think I could speak for most when I say that the events of this year were not the best gifts the universe could have sent us. 

This past year has been called everything from the “worst year ever” to “a blessing in disguise,” but regardless of title, I believe this year requires reflection.  

To be honest, I feel as if the year went by so quick yet so slowly, kind of like an old movie film where snapshots of events are mashed together only to form one quick scene.  

At the beginning of the year, the world tried to adjust to the quarantine. We started adapting, savoring our newfound time by recreating Tik-Tok trends, going on morning walks, and following YouTube workouts, all to help the time pass by a little quicker. 

Meanwhile, the panic began to settle in; toilet paper flew off the shelves, sanitizer were auctioned off for big bucks, and masks were nowhere to be found. We were no longer allowed to meet with our friends, and every stranger was just a potential chance of getting the virus.  

On the other side of the scale, we saw firsthand injustice in America’s police system, taking proper time to address systemic and ongoing racism in our country.  

Yet, we all thought it would be over soon. We all thought the world had stopped, but in reality, it was still moving on. 

With 3,000,000 people dead globally, there are not enough words to express the immense loss and little gain people were forced to bear with no notice. Suffering, hardships, and challenges became recurring vocabulary, but the gain in this case is one that is still important to take notice of. 

This year was a time of reflection. Reflection on the fragility of humanity, reflection of the strength of humanity, and reflection on the concept of humanity. We all witnessed the challenges of online school, quarantine, CDC guidelines, and so much more unpredictability, and we could never really contain or control it at all.  

We, as Webb, all went through the same pandemic, yet we all have different stories. Beloved teachers retired, freshmen needed to bond over the screen, seniors missed the highlights of their last year, and the familiarity of what made Webb a community had to be reinvented. 

The world tried to keep its pace, shutting down schools, restaurants, malls, in hopes to combat the virus, reinventing the norm completely overnight. Indoor dining became outdoor, schools were empty, and hospitals were packed to the max. It felt like the only thing we could do was just to wait it all through. 

At Webb, we tried to make the most out of the situation, hosting online community eventschapel talks on Zoom, even gradually opening up study pods. Teachers, faculty, international students, and local students alike were forced to adjust to the new way of life with little time and guidance. Soon, Canvas ruled our lives, with that pixelated burst of confetti giving us some amusement for the day. 

However, our community chose to be resilient in spite of all the obstacles. Teachers and students stepped up to embody that hope even when it was hard for themselves to do so. Although no system is perfect, seeing both groups being so persistent to cultivate a consistent energy from different parts of the world is one of the most admirable things about us as humans.  

It may be obvious, but the interactions of people, of us, in challenging times tests our ability as humans to thrive in this confusing world. The question of “what can we do?” and “how can we do it?” came up too often for me. Why is there so much going on? What was the point of life anymore? Is doing this homework assignment really necessary? Why does this have to happen now of all times? Time melded into one long and never-ending stretch of hopelessness. 

I later realized that these thoughts were okay to have. Denial, confusion, and anger are all immediate responses, and only the first steps in approaching difficulty and hardships. Taking the time to pay attention to issues around you and exploring yourself and your thoughts are the best way to not only find out more about yourself, but to make life more worth exploring and living.  

We have the power to make or break the situation. We can do anything we want, and we can control the things we do, just not the other way around. I have seen people from the community create new relationships, try out new things, and help maintain the experience to allow us to continue with what we do. 

As Webb and the world starts to reopen again, I want everyone reading to reflect about yourselves for only a minute. I want you to address your concerns, your struggles, your happiness, everything and anything at all. I want you to be aware of your humanity, your accomplishments, your talents, your passions, your purpose. Answers will not always come easy. Maybe they will come later, but make sure to keep your inner self in check, always listening to yourself when needed.  

Life is a hurdle, and it will, without fail, continue to change no matter what. Expecting change, accepting change, and overcoming change is just one more aspect of our lives to look forward to.