Reflections on 2023: A year of triumphs and tragedies
The year 2023 emphasizes the growing need for compassion and advocacy.

When reflecting on 2023, we can see that with the many highs we all had, several lows were also present. Last year officially marked the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, which gave people hope of having a fresh start as we were all forced to isolate from one another for the previous three years. The year was also filled with historic impacts, such as Taylor’s Version reeling in US$1 billion in Era’s tour concert sales. Meanwhile, epic blockbuster revenues increased through “Barbenheimer,” the compromise of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. The world watched Rihanna reveal her pregnancy through the Super Bowl Halftime Show, where she showed the world that she in fact does shine bright like a diamond.

Yet, as we reflect on the past year, we can also see the problems that the world was filled with and continues to grieve over. The world saw Russia attempting to take over Ukraine, which caused approximately eight million individuals who resided in Ukraine to migrate and seek help in other countries while watching the rest of their families be trapped in their motherland.

However, humanity struck an ultimate low when observing the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, which continues today, causing thousands of innocent lives to be lost and cultures destroyed. Throughout the ongoing attacks, it is approximated that more than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed, many of them being children. The attacks indicate not just the beginning of genocide, but the beginning of ignorance that individuals have towards the victims of Palestine. Furthermore, deaths have been publicly illustrated by the media, yet many continue to ignore the cries and rights of the Palestinian people.

All these events have shaped our outlook on the world as we watched several people’s struggles this past year, learned about the horrors that are unravelling in our world, and learned about the ignorance that others hold surrounding these problems.

As these events continue to take place and haunt our minds, we can reflect on the lessons that 2023 has taught us, such as the need to reach out to others. Through the horrible attacks going on in our world, we need to remember to be kind to others as we never know what they are going through. Our world needs peace, but it also needs love, and this change starts with us. 

Furthermore, 2023 taught us to always tell people that we love them, and we never know when their time will come. Reflecting on the death of Matthew Perry, we can see the sorrows that the internet held as several individuals shared their thoughts on the actor throughout their Instagram feeds.

With the several tragedies that we watched unravel through the media, and which we continue to watch in the present day, we learn about loss quickly. This has taught us all to love a little harder and value those within our lives as thousands of Palestinians can never tell a parent they love them, play with their friends again, or simply sit in school with their favourite classmate. 

Through the several incidents that have occurred, the world has seen humanity work together as a community to aid people in need, showcasing that our activism is required to continue to raise awareness of the injustices in our world as we embark on 2024. It voices that we cannot ignore the needs of others and that being selfless as opposed to selfish is a universal requirement, allowing for change, prosperity, and love to occur. 

As 2024 is the gateway for new beginnings to take place, we must remember the past. We must reflect on the lives of many who are currently suffering with the hope of recovery from the events they have faced in the past year and resolve to help them within this process of grief. In addition, we must reflect on the events which continue to take place as the new year does not represent an end to past events. 

In 2024, remember to stand up for what you believe in, as you never know the impact you have on the lives of others, specifically those whose voices are being silenced. It indicates the need to become our best selves and not just by eating healthy, saving money, working out, or even by studying more—but by being in touch with our emotions and learning how we can help those who need it most.

Staff Writer (Volume 50) — Vanessa is a fourth-year student double majoring in Psychology and English with a minor in Education. When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys picking up a good novel and escaping into the world of reading or playing some of her favourite songs on her record player. She also loves writing. You can often find her journaling throughout her day.


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