Will you be happy another year happened, or happy that another year passed?

By Athena Zhuang

January 24th, 2022



A year washed to the shore,
Revealing shells from visiting the globe and building sandcastles for new relationships,
But the clock hits zero,
And instead of one, we start at two.

To consider traveling is to consider new friends: new hands to meet, new cultures to touch.
Where do your eyes go this year?

A cell phone as the world during quarantine,
Of diving with the dolphins and swinging with the monkeys
Where we transport to anywhere
And build a world from a screen, until our planet burns down

To raise a glass of your voice,
To spill a jar with your sounds,
And to reveal your stories
On why we must change the world

To see change is one, to enact is two.
To demand for action is three.
Let us do all.

Papers flying not as planes but as ambitions,
Soaring through the air in Straight Lines of As
And of becoming the stellar pupil the stars adore.

Books and courses at my mouth,
Consuming Shelley, Dickens, McQuiston, and Hemingway
Of self exploration from calculus to philosophy
Of a non-linear world of imperfection in numbers but perfection in curiosity
Of sparkling eyes filled with stars of education.

When the clock strikes midnight, and it is over,
Will you be happy that another year happened,
Or happy that another year passed?

Athena Zhuang is a grade twelve International Baccalaureate student from Burlington. “As a child, I created mind-maps to record my New Year’s resolutions. This year, I used a new medium: poetry.

“The poem depicts my goals for 2022. It discusses how I, as a teenager during quarantine, hope the upcoming year will unfold. I reveal my dreams for traveling before going to university, making new friends in the virtual world, my advocacy for the climate, and more.”

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3 comments to Will you be happy another year happened, or happy that another year passed?

  • Athena Zhuang

    Thank you so much for the feature!

  • Carol Victor

    Bravo….if nothing else the pandemic has provided introspection and perspective..
    Well written young lady

  • Regardless of how hard a year has been there are always blessings to be counted. We love your attitude. Athena. We are fortunate that we had fulfilled our bucket list of travel and face time makes it easier to accept that we are unlikely to ever again meet in the flesh with our friends and rellies in UK and Australia as we can still chat face to face. It was a different tech time when we came to Canada for our two year working adventure September 71 and the cost of overseas calls meant they were reserved for Chrstmas not even birthday calls.