Surviving 2022

Dr. Jenny Lalmuanpuii, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Mass Communication, Tetso College

I recently I came across an Instagram post that said, "As everyone starts posting their 2022 highlights, please know that if the only thing you did this year simply survived, that is something to be proud of." "You're still here, you did it, and I'm proud of you." As I was reading this post, I couldn't help but wonder if other people have thought about the year 2022 as the end of the year approaches and what they think. Was it a great year? Why make it great? Or are you glad that it is getting over soon? It would be a huge mistake to assume how people would feel, but as I asked around among friends, family, and colleagues, somehow their responses were all the same.

It would still be a mistake to draw such a big conclusion from this, because the question I posed was only to approximately 30 people, with around 20 responses, and I did not conduct any statistical testing or anything of the sort. However, the question I posed was, "What do you think about this year? Many of the replies I received were from folks who are surviving this year, and some expressed it in such a way that they are barely surviving. 

After two years of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 has brought some normalcy to our lives. Lockdowns and curfews have been lifted, health restrictions have been relaxed, cultural and sporting activities have resumed, businesses have reopened, and people's travels have resumed. Schools and colleges reopened. And who knew that, before the pandemic, 2019 would be the last time my community organized a Christmas feast? After a long wait, we finally celebrated Christmas this year with a feast and "Zai khawm," when we gather and sing as a community. I've seen some elders of my community weep with tears of joy!

This year has been a year of restoration in some ways, with many things returning to normal or the new normal that the pandemic brought, but it has also been challenging. The same people I watched their Instagram highlights with amazing photographs and reels also had this other version of their lives, hidden from social media, where they lost loved ones, were laid off from a job, had to rebuild their businesses from scratch after the pandemic, and were battling mental illness. So why not dedicate this column to everyone who made it through the year and remember those who have passed—our friends, family, colleagues, classmates, students, and even our pets.

The novel experiences and challenges we encountered, the opportunities we were given, and the unexpected losses we endured along the way. Sometimes the changes are seamless, but other times they are bumpy or simply rough! And, as we look back on this year 2022, if you have a lot to be thankful for, I hope you bring it into the next year. And even if the highlight of your lives this year is simply getting through it, that is enough—that you survived, that we survived, and that we have 2023 to look forward to with the wisdom, strength, and experiences we gained in 2022.

The Degree of Thought Column is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. The column explored contemporary social, cultural, political, and educational issues and challenges around us. However, the views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC-accredited, UCG-recognized Commerce and Arts college. Currently, the Degree of Thought Column is managed by the department of Mass Communication, and the editorial team are Dr Jenny Lalmuanpuii, KC Gabriela and Rinsit Sareo. For feedback or comments, please email: [email protected].