“You don’t drown by falling into water. You only drown if you stay there.” — Edwin Louis Cole
The first month of 2020 was rough. Starting with the threat of World War III and ending with the spread of a deadly virus, January was not an ideal month for people around the globe. Sept. 2019 was the official start of the Australian wildfires; despite beginning in September, it was brought to the attention of the international community in January as one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Jan. 3 marked the death of Iran military leader Qasem Soleimani by missiles that were shot from American drones. The attack on a US base in Iraq by Iran on Jan. 8 convinced many that a world war was possible, leaving the international community in paranoia. Finally, the most recent global crisis that began in the month of January is the Wuhan Coronavirus, a newfound disease giving rise to death, paranoia, and even xenophobia.
In the school community as well, the year kicked off with extremely high student stress levels. Winter sports athletes did not have the chance to showcase their skills and compete in the KAIAC Tournament due to the Coronavirus, which nullified the months of practice the cheer and basketball teams went through . The National Honor Festival was also officially canceled, disappointing many students who were looking forward to gathering with other international schools to perform. HSSC’s Snowball, too, was postponed to a later undetermined date, adding onto the accumulating disappointment. On top of the multiple event cancellations, of course, students are also currently facing the annual challenge of reinvigorating their motivation to keep up with their academics.
People worldwide have seemingly drowned in a series of disappointing and stressful events over the course of January; however, the status quo may be a bit more hopeful than the media makes it seem. Crises such as the Coronavirus show promising signs of dissipating eventually as South Korean hospitals announced that one patient is now healed and ready to leave the hospital. Furthermore, the Australian wildfires, in all their disastrousness, served as a wake-up call for the international community to unite against climate change. Public figures, for instance, worked to promote the severity of the issue and made large donations to help end the wildfires.
The same can be said about students’ January as well. The cancellation of KAIAC and an abrupt end to the winter sports season are not what students wanted, but various events that allow the winter athletes to spend more time with their sports team are hosted in the school, including the student vs teacher basketball game hosted by the Tiger Sports Council. Students should not be drowning in a pile of summatives, but be fighting their way through it. Just as students have battled their way through first semester, a break in between should not be the start of a slump or a fall, but a chance to refresh and start again, better than ever before.
2020 was jokingly called the year the world comes to an end due to the constant global crises. However, the year is slowly getting better as crises are slowly approaching an end, opening the door for promising events for the rest of the year. Perhaps we can consider January our trial run and work toward a brighter 2020.