In their first editorial, Jordan and Holly make the best of a bad situation.
2020 has been a complete shitshow - and that's putting it politely. The opening act of the year offered natural disasters that only a biblical rapture could rival all whilst we were edging closer to world war three by the day (Jordan was particularly scared of getting drafted). But that was January, which feels almost BC. when you remember the Tiger King phenomenon was in April. The year only became darker when Covid-19 devastated the world we knew before March 2020.
The pandemic kept us locked indoors for the best part of three months, and the aftermath now sees us adjusting to this “new normal” that we can’t stop hearing about - perhaps the second most popular phrase of 2020, only eclipsed by “unprecedented”.
From our academic studies to sports, entertainment, and even our daily routines, everything is changing. Be it slapping the ceiling in Beer Bar, or a sweaty session at the Stevie, we look at our pre-Covid lives with pangs of loss and nostalgia. There is a feeling of living in a future, where our old lives are lost, never to return. This feeling is not restrained to the virus exclusively, as it's an ever-present feeling experienced during university as we transition from one phase to the next. We can't change what has happened or why things happen. We can only move forward and try to create a “new normal” that we want to live in.
So what should the "new normal" look like and how should we embrace it? Well, we already are. Despite 2020 being reminiscent of a horror movie, we are changing for the better. The support for humanitarian campaigns has been overwhelming, from the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement to issues closer to home like the refugee crisis happening in Glasgow. Despite all of this suffering, we are responding with love and strength. This is how we should continue to embrace this "new normal".
How we embraced it was found simply by trying to put this paper together. In the process, we've learned so much about ourselves, our publication, our community and what is needed of us to leave it better than we found it.
There is a tradition as the paper's new Editors-in-Chief to call union presidents, university officials and reach out to student bodies across campus. Many of these people typically have unenthusiastic views of our publication due to actions of the past and rivalries - the fact that nobody likes the press doesn't help. This year, the tone of the conversations was different; everyone's struggles were palpable, and we all knew that this year was going to be demanding in ways we could have never predicted. Any high-ticket manifesto ideas now had to be put on the backburner, and the goalpost moved to just surviving the year. These conversations started out sombre, but slowly, after recognising the struggles each individual was facing, we began building a community where the foundations are built on mutual support. We used this time to address the wrongs of the past. It wasn't comfortable, but it was necessary and well overdue.
This should be the new normal: helping each other and changing for the better. It won't be easy; there will be moments which require reflection, but we will introduce a new age for ourselves and everyone else.
While it’s likely the Oxford English Dictionary will crown “unprecedented” as the word of the year, we would like to make “community” ours. We would like to welcome all, whether this is your first day or 15th year at the University of Glasgow, to our new normal.