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The year 2020 was a period of seemingly organized sequential events that significantly impacted our mental health. It brought tears, despair, and chaos to the lives of many Filipinos. It was like a monthly episode of disaster: a volcanic explosion in January, an animal virus outbreak in February, and a pandemic in March. These are just a few of the numerous reasons to bid farewell to the year 2020 and all the sorrow and suffering it has wrought. It has caused a great deal of darkness and depression, as well as hopelessness and oppression. But we also have enough reason to be grateful for the lessons learned and the opportunities that the year 2020 has brought. The beginning of a new year has come. As we embark on this new decade, there may be uncertainties but there will also be new trends to adjust to, new habits to manage, new lifestyles to embrace, and new possibilities to take advantage of as the decade unfolds. There may be a lot of changes in systems and processes, in businesses, in schools, in the workplace or even among social circles.

We can’t foretell what the year 2021 will bring for each of us, but we can always approach it with the appropriate attitude and enough positivity to get us through it. If we begin to manage our expectations and define clearly our goals and objectives, then the year 2021 will not be difficult to handle. Instead of making resolutions, why don’t we set objectives that we can focus on and work on. Tiny steps taken are far better than not taking a step at all. Dr. Michelle M. Saplada, Vice-President for Academic Affairs of Riverside College, presented a strategy to be implemented in meeting targets for 2021. PLOW is the keyword here. The letter “P” stands for “Plan,” as we need to formulate, implement, evaluate and re-evaluate well our plans. Every circumstance benefits greatly from careful planning, which clarifies what we should be doing and where we should focus our attention initially. “L” stands for “Lessen,” which refers to the fact that we need to reduce the amount of time we spend troubleshooting. The letter “O” stands for “Open, “as we strive to practice open communication with each other in order to prevent misunderstandings. “W” stands for “Welcome” because we must welcome positive feedback to improve our operations.  As we learnt about the PLOW strategy, let us take a moment to think on it. It is quite simple, yet it has the potential to save us a significant amount of time and energy while also improving our mental health.

                If Riverside College managed to survive in 2020, it will definitely withstand the complex challenges and perils of the new year, 2021. This will only be possible if the entire Riverside College community will be driven by the same goals, and will be working together as one team towards reinforcing our commitment to develop 21st century global leaders and professionals through technology-savvy programs & nurturing and safe environment and processes. Let us all keep working towards our goals and objectives this year. On the side, let us all be a little kinder to one another, prioritizing our well-being and promoting mental health awareness because after all, riverside college nurtures a safe environment for its community. We are One in 2021!