Predicting the Future

Students and staff share their thoughts on what 2022 might look like

Sonia Verma, Staff Writer

2020 was not a typical year. People entered the new decade with high hopes, only to have them postponed by the pandemic. But for Biology and Chemistry teacher Elizabeth McCracken, the new year looks bright. The pandemic has brought her “unforeseen gifts” in the form of better habits around the house, such as doing yoga in the morning and spending more time in her garden.

“I never imagined the past two years would be as fabulous as they were,” McCracken said. “I expect that to continue. It doesn’t mean I know what [the new year] looks like. Every day is a surprise.”

McCracken has been pleasantly surprised by her students’ academic performance so far this year, although she does recognize that some students have been struggling with mental health.

“There’s a lot going on in your personal lives, [in] the community [and on] the planet,” McCracken said. “There’s an enormous amount. I think that [students are] incredibly resilient.”

Sophomore Shriya Mandalapu is hoping to bring the “right vibes” into the new year. As 2022 also comes with the second semester of the school year, her main priority is to improve her time management skills. Despite her positive experience at school in person, Mandalapu doesn’t foresee an end to the pandemic this year.

“I feel like last year and the year before [weren’t] that great,” Mandalapu said. “So now my outlook is more: ‘How much worse can it get?’”

Junior Anna Pullara jokes that an apocalypse is overdue — a meteor strike, in particular. But impending catastrophe aside, Pullara thinks that 2022 is going to go well for her. She says that her particular mindset helps her “take things in stride.” Right now, all she is concerned with is maintaining her grade point average.

Although Pullara feels that she did well during quarantine, she notes that it seems to be at the expense of many people around the world who have experienced negative effects of the pandemic. She states that the world has been on a “downward trail” during the past few years.

But unlike Mandalapu, Pullara thinks the end of the pandemic is near. She believes that eventually the public being fed up of pandemic restrictions will “override the need to stop being [physically] sick with [COVID-19].” Pullara believes that because of the public’s dissatisfaction, the restrictions to stop the spread of the disease will end this year in favor of returning to pre-pandemic conditions.

Regardless of what will happen this year, McCracken continues to search for a silver lining. To her, the MVHS administration’s efforts to make the 2021-2022 year safe for students, like providing COVID-19 tests and masks, demonstrate a higher level of diligence.

“My goal is to help people see the positives because it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the stuff that looks like it’s not working,” McCracken said. “I look for the gifts. Sometimes [they’re] not so obvious – but I do believe they’re always there.”