Column: 2020 — The year, the myth, the legend


Photo credit: Harrison Griffiths

Seniors Grace Wilson, Kelsey Thompson and Charley Griffiths pose on the beach during the first sunrise of the new year. The three girls are celebrating their excitement about having arrived in 2020.

Happy new year, ladies and gentlemen! After much toil and hard work, it seems we have finally made it to the year 2020. To some of us, the start of a new year is an exciting excuse to draft a list of resolutions never to be completed, and to others, it is an arbitrary celebration that a certain amount of time has passed. Normally, I am not obsessed with the new year’s craze, but this year feels quite different. 

2020 is the year I have been patiently looking forward to, the year always in the back of my head and the year I have painted in red on countless posters for Color Wars and Spirit Week. 2020 is the year I graduate high school and the year I begin college. 

I remember being a member of the cross country team in seventh grade (yup, I tried being an athlete for a hot second there) and talking with a then-senior on the sidelines before a race. She expressed her disbelief at the fact that my graduating year seemed so far off, whereas hers (2015) was only a few months away. At the time, her comment seemed irrelevant, in fact, a tad patronizing, but I now understand where she was coming from. 

In seventh grade, 2020 seemed so distant and abstract, but now, in the month of January, the year is tangible and real. And when I think about how current Archer students set to graduate in 2026 might feel ambivalent or neutral about their faraway graduation date, I gain perspective on the true passing of time that has occurred. In the past six years, 2020 turned from just the suffix of my school email account into the number I write in the top left corner of each assignment I turn in. 

More than just a graduation year, these four digits represent a grade identity that my classmates and I have created for the past 6 years. 

Since middle school, my fellow Student Council members and I have been tasked with the all-important responsibility to foster grade unity and spirit. In completing this duty — which hasn’t been too easy considering the angsty pubescent ladies we are dealing with — our graduating year has become an important emblem to play off of. 

Through a series of chants, slogans and cheers, the number 2020 became our grade’s identity. From red block numbers on a banner hanging above the science hallway to gold foil balloons hovering in prom photos, this set of numbers is now a ubiquitous sign of our grade. We are 2020 and 2020 is us. 

So, while everyone else in the world views the new year however they so please, the class of 2020 commemorates the new year with a sense of awe at how much time has passed and a sense of pride that we, in our own little way, own the year. Each time I look at a calendar or catch a glimpse of a watch, the “2020”  before me will remind me to bask in the glory of this long-awaited stage of my life.