We asked students, faculty, and staff to reflect on the past year and tell us what lessons they’re taking with them as we head into 2022. Read the responses, which have been lightly edited.
I [learned] resilience through the hard times. I’m actually from Myanmar. We went through a military coup, so I haven’t been home and seen my family in almost a year. It’s been tough not knowing anyone here and then having to adjust and then not being able to go home during Thanksgiving and winter break when everyone else is having nice meals with their families. Resilience and pushing through even though it’s difficult and you just want to give up.
– Win Sandar Nyunt, Business and economics, 2023
This past year has taught me that hope is never a waste of time, even in the face of exceedingly difficult circumstances, and that strength and resiliency emerge when you need them most.
– Kevin Vetiac, Director of LGBTQA Resource Center
[I learned] how to be patient with myself, because 2020 and 2021 have been interesting years with the pandemic. And just not doing what I used to do at the capacity that I used to do it—and realizing that that’s OK. It’s OK to be patient with yourself and patient with others, because everyone’s just going through it. People change, situations change, and that’s perfectly fine.
– Ruthie Olowoyeye, Health science, PlusOne, 2023
[This year] renewed my belief that every day is just another opportunity to get it right. And that we have to practice a lot of compassion: self-compassion, compassion for others. I don’t think that anybody was really able to present their best selves in 2021. And that’s OK. And we just can just try again,to make the world a better place for everybody, whether that’s systemically, broadly, societally, or just within whatever small spheres that you move in.
– Margaret Hahn-DuPont, Teaching professor, School of Law
I have learned about solidarity and to be more supportive of others. We have to treat people better and be a person in the future. I see that people are fighting too much for no reason. I learned to love my family more and be a better human … that is what I hope for in 2022.
– Nilsa Velez, barista
I’m valuing the connections that I’m making with people here and making sure that I’m taking time to focus on my personal relationships and not get too busy to do that when it gets too busy during the semester.
– Sophia Pywowarczuk, Computer science and political science, 2025
What I learned in 2021 is that we take things for granted: everyday routines, family, friends. We’re under the assumption that we’re going to be here forever. And clearly that’s not the case. What I plan to take into 2022 is to enjoy every day as it comes, and to slow things down.
– John Patterson, Northeastern University police officer
Next year I’ll be focusing on spending more time with family and friends, and doing more things that make me happy. This first semester back in person has shown me the true importance of allocating time to unwind (and time to walk from one class to the next).
– James Chang-Davidson, Computer science, 2023
I think [about] how much I took for granted being able to be around people. Coming into this semester, I realized how much I miss being with people and how much I miss in-person theater and how great it is to be with everyone again. Despite all the craziness of the world—and the homework and assignments—and all that kind of stuff, at the end of the day, it’s good to be with people.
– Lily Mittnight, Creative Practice Leadership Program, master’s degree, 2022
There seems to be a large number of people who are trying to do the right thing, but there also seem to be a large number of people who are being very foolish in my opinion. And as to how it’s all going to turn out, I have no idea.
– John Park, Clinical instructor in Khoury College of Computer Sciences
Resilience is the biggest part. Being able to achieve my goals despite everything, being off-campus the entire time, and then carrying that forward and having that mindset I think is the best way to go on.
– Hanson Troung, Business administration, 2022
The power of cross-disciplinary partnerships is a driver of impactful change. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
– Jared Auclair, Associate dean of professional programs and graduate affairs, College of Science
As a Deaf individual, navigating to becoming a police officer is a challenging journey, but I learned to persist despite the barriers that I already faced. I will carry forward that it’s feasible to fulfill my dream with passion, dedication, and perseverance.
– Mohamed Abanoor, Criminal justice 2022 (bachelor of science) and August 2023 (Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice)