13 January 2021

A Year of Gratitude A Future Filled With Hope

It’s finally a new year! 

While 2020 may have posed its own challenges (we’re looking at you COVID-19), we’ve definitely a lot to look back on and be grateful about. From adapting to online learning, pushing through the different Movement Control Orders, and just surviving the year, three of our Taylorians share their gratitude towards the important life lessons they’ve learned in 2020 and how they’re moving in 2021 with hope

Check out their stories below!

Karen Grace Prince
Guest Contributor
Nur Sorfina
Guest Contributor
Jonathan Jeremiah
Guest Contributor


The past year has made me cherish, no, relish the routines and activities I used to take for granted or deemed unimportant. I miss waiting at the bus stop every morning before class, my head lost in a book or talking the ear off of an unlucky friend who I’ve caught sight of. I miss leaning against the hard plastic chairs of the LRT, earphones plugged in, and stuck wandering in the latest daydream of the day. 

It’s the simplicities of my daily life that I can’t seem to enjoy anymore without the paranoia of the virus lurking around the corner.

In 2021, I thoroughly look forward to leaving the four walls of my house without having to don a facemask or rubbing my hands raw with hand sanitiser — to move back into daily routines.

It’s a little far-fetched to hope for a tomorrow free of masks and mayhem, especially with the case numbers still on the high and with the new MCO in place. But hey! A girl can dream or rather, hope, for a light at the end of the tunnel. Till then, I’ll coop up at home and abide by safety protocols, in hopes of once again resuming my mundane campus commute someday. 

While the start of the new decade may not have been one we wished for, this new decade was essentially my official entrance into my twenties, the supposed period of lightness, laughter, and lots of good fun! You can tell, I was a little giddy to begin this foreign yet fun chapter. But, if anything, 2020 proved otherwise and sent us all down a spiral of self-isolation and sordid situations.

The ‘roaring’ twenties turned ‘boring’ very quickly and I probably spent more time in my head than I’ve liked to in these 10 months. I realised very quickly that 2020 robbed us all of happy moments, memories that could have lived on in our minds, but are merely just figments of our imagination now. So, I insist that 2021 be different. Our feelings and fears are fickle and momentary. It’s not set in stone nor etched in our lives forever. 

What remains permanent is our past, particularly the moments we’ve experienced. 

I want to overwrite the less-than-peachy periods of 2020 with some optimism and bliss that has been lacking for all of us. I want to spend time with loved ones as much as possible. I want to enjoy my hobbies and pursue interests that I’ve always had. 

I want to be able to pat myself on the back or give myself a time-out when I know I need it. I want to make memories in spite of it all. It’s not a lot to expect for the year, but it gives me something to desire and live towards. Rest assured, I think we’ve faced the worst already so 2021 should be a breeze! Fingers-crossed for no alien invasion this year ;)

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS! Take it easy and enjoy yet another year of uncertainty and excitement!

Karen Grace Prince is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication (Honours) at Taylor's University. She is also the Director of Events Committee for the Taylor's Model United Nations Club (TLMUN) and Director of Ext. Operations for TLMUN 2020 Conference Secretariat Team.


Aiming for the Best

That’s my new motto I'm living by 2021 that will give me hope to stay strong whenever I'm faced with any challenges. You may think that by being ‘the best’ I’m being ambitious but to me, it's more than that. It simply means being the best version of myself

This year, I’m looking to enhance my inner strength and self-development which was inspired by the growth mindset exercises discovered through Taylor’s Entrepreneurs & Intrapreneur Club.

In 2021, I want to understand, love myself more, and build my inner strength. Truthfully, 2020 was very challenging as a lot of uncertainties impacted my mental health. I’ve experienced burnouts several times during the past 6 months while sturggling to cope with my studies and extracurricular activities which happened due to my misconceptions of what being productive meant. My schedules were jam-packed with online classes, assignments, clubs and societies, and webinars or programmes from morning till night.

It came to the point where I realised that I had no me-time. So, that’s how I had burnouts, restless sleep, and was emotionally drained. Thankfully, my supportive best friend constantly checked on my condition every single day and realising the position I was in, I went for aromatherapy massages to calm my mind and relax my body which was effective for me in overcoming a burnout. I’m really grateful that I was able to learn how to overcome it despite being away from my family for several months.

Based on what I’ve learnt the past year, I’m going to appreciate and love myself throughout the process of developing empathy in 2021. Learn to take things slowly and know what’s my limit when doing things. Learn to stop, know when it’s enough, and to take a break. Hopefully, by practising self-empathy, it will help to develop and strengthen my inner strength and give me a sense of determination when faced with any challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic, as bad as it is, made me realise that, in order to survive this new world that’s highly digitalised, we need to be equipped with all kinds of skills — and I don’t just mean digital skills! 

This 2021, I’m sure I’ll be faced with challenges that will hone my soft skills and professional development as I enter my final semester and internship. 

I’m excited and hopeful that within the next 6 months, I’ll learn at least two new skills that I wouldn’t be able to during my study module. It can be related to the current world news, reading self-development books, and even watching YouTube videos on editing, vlogging, or make-up tutorial! I'm really excited for what the future holds.

All in all, I’m grateful for being able to survive the challenges of 2020 and hope that I’ll only get stronger and more agile in facing the challenges of 2021. Wishing the year 2021 will be better and filled with good memories approaching my final year in Taylor’s!

Nur Sorfina is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business (Honours) Banking & Finance at Taylor's University She is also a part of the Board of Director Plus and Talent Engagement Department Lead of Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship Club, a Pals Leader of Introduction to Finance, and a committee member of the Taylors Connect Peer Supporter and YSEALI's KauOkTak.


Ask anyone and their answer would probably ring the same: 2020 was a rollercoaster ride with many unexpected ups and downs. On the other hand, I relate to 2020 a little differently. 

To me, it was a never-ending hurdle race with each hurdle inching higher and higher. At one point these challenges seemed impossible to jump over. 2020 to me wasn’t about facing these challenges, rather it was more about adapting and adjusting to the changes presented and being resilient through it all. 

Instead of trying to go over these hurdles, I adapted and found that going under them would be easier (Didn’t expect that now didn’t you!)

I know that isn’t how a hurdle race should typically go but this analogy is something I reflect on a lot.

I know that isn’t how a hurdle race should typically go but this analogy is something I reflect on a lot. We shouldn’t be pushed to do the impossible. Nevertheless, we must always strive to be the best versions of ourselves by looking at life from different angles. In general, 2020 was an impossible year to power through just like that and yet it has given us a very important lesson that we should be grateful for.

To be resilient.

So with 2020 in the past, we can only hope for things to get better. Aside from taking away what I’ve learnt from 2020, I also know that we’re all part of a major turning point in history that could be both good and bad for us. 

The good is that this helps us adapt and become more resilient to new change which will aid us in whatever future awaits us. However, the ‘bad’ part is that change is never easy for us but here's the silver lining — It isn’t impossible

With the MCO kicking back in we'd definitely need to be more adaptable and resilient to change and challenge ourselves with the lessons of last year. I'm soaking up all the knowledge and experience from 2020 and using it to my advantage in 2021. The countless downfalls in the past year will now be my uprising to ensure this year rocks for me and for everyone around me!

And I for one hope you find a way to get over that incredibly high hurdle. Whether you go above, under or around it, you pave your own path for a successful 2021! Hoping all of you have a great 2021 filled with hope and resilience!

Jonathan Jeremiah Edward is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Accounting and Finance at Taylor's University. He is the President for Taylor's University Student Council and the Vice President for the Rotaract club of Taylor's Lakeside Campus. He also enjoys the occasional business case challenge and lives by the motto to live life to the fullest and to seize every opportunity.