EDITORIAL: Define your next normal as we begin the new year

The power is in your hands, let’s take on 2023 together

Balloons drop from nets as atendees of the Indiana State Museum's Family New Years Eve Party ring in the new year early Saturday, Dec. 31, at the Indiana State Museum.

We made it to yet another year where the phrase "new normal" seems to, again, define an unknown number of days, weeks and months to come. Over almost three years, we have become accustomed to waiting on the next outbreak, variant or, let’s be real, the next bad news.

What is the new normal? In 2020, we were forced online. In 2021, vaccinations began while masks remained commonplace. In 2022, we returned to work and class without masks.

Now, as we begin 2023, it’s a blank slate.

Whether you’re a professor, student or employee in the community, there has not been a person or group of people left unaffected by COVID-19.

In times like these, when it’s easy to be overcome by the sadness in the world, it’s even more important to focus on what we have learned from the pandemic.

Aside from easing communication worldwide, the pandemic has taught us that the new normal is ever-changing.

This is such a vital time in young adults’ lives. We are learning and experiencing things that can affect our lives forever.

Take with you in this new year the lesson that the word "normal" is whatever you allow it to be. We've been so focused on the new normal, but what about the next normal?

President Bob Davies recently announced that COVID-19 practices on campus will come to an end, aside from optional testing and vaccinations. Regulations are as relaxed as they have been since the pandemic began.

The power is in your hands. Let’s take on 2023 together and conquer this next normal phase of life.