Opinion: Tomorrow Isn’t Promised


Mercy Soly, Media & Features Editor

After a pandemic, the series of events and emotions that came with it, and moments in my life over the last two years, I believe the world has been proven wrong when it comes to the promise of tomorrow.  In that we have time and security in what could happen. However, what if that was the biggest lie told in our families, and in our world.

According to Worldometers.info, 959,412 people in the United States have died from Covid-19 as of February 20,2022. Almost one million lives are gone, exceeding in comparison to the lives lost during World War II

The pandemic took our society by surprise—leaving civilians unemployed, locked at home, and in a state of emergency. During the heat of the initial months of the pandemic, one could argue that life was the same every single day, but one could also call out the fear of what an unpredictable tomorrow looked like because of Covid.

A healthcare professional who combated throughout the pandemic told the New York Times that at a certain point, the chaos left him, “just down and depressed and exhausted.”

Death surrounded the lives of so many Americans because of the pandemic and still continues to do so. So many expected tomorrows were silently put to rest forever. 

Yet, during the rush of the pandemic where home quickly became the place where students worked and learned, one thing that drastically dropped was the percentage of school shootings. March 2020 was documented as the first March in 18 years when  there hadn’t been a school

shooting. In a way, U.S. students had one less thing to worry about despite being crushed with so much more. 

As a witness to the pandemic and someone who had Covid earlier on, I contemplated the fear that Covid placed on our backs, as well as the fears it took away. The idea of having to lockdown because of a school shooting threat has never been far for me. In fact, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to brainstorming a way out of each classroom I’ve ever entered. I don’t want to say it is an instinct, but it definitely has become a habit. 

By the end of 2021, after the country had collectively started in-person learning again for the 2021-2022 school year, there had been 34 reported school shootings across the nation. More so, about 34,000 students were exposed to firearm related violence in the year of 2021. 

Being back in person for learning has brought back a lot of what I missed: the small interactions, seeing my friends, and being able to apply myself beyond a computer screen. But still, it also offers the opportunity to think about how quickly my school life could be disrupted as well. 

Gun violence in American schools has swallowed and replaced the safety, trust and peace that is supposed to be provided for students, educators and parents. 

 From the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that took place in 2012, leaving an exhaustive 26 people dead (20 of whom were  6- and 7-year-olds), to the more recent story of the shots fired at a Michigan high school where four students were killed by a fellow peer. 

Or, the first school shooting that made gun control a serious issue of debate in the country. In 1999, the Columbine High School shooting was a tragedy unlike any school shooting seen before. 

Life at school was no longer safe. Is no longer safe. But every day, American students go. Nonetheless, there is a hum of fear that sings as the sound of a popped bag of potato chips echoes in a room or a metal ruler slaps the ground.

On March 7, 2022, an Iowa high school fell victim to a shooting leaving one student dead and two in critical condition. This marked at least the 13th shooting on American school grounds K-12 of this year.

Unfortunately, every day, there is a chance our tomorrow won’t come.

But life goes on. In fact, the world and the people on it continue to innovate in unique ways. An example of this is provided in the annual New Year’s holiday, a time when people craft up resolutions to better themselves for tomorrow. 

Nonetheless, about 64% of resolutions go abandoned after the first month of establishment. The setup itself, however, is to work and engage in something that betters the person at hand. To control the now so that tomorrow is better, with a series of changes that essentially, we could implement on any given day of the year. 

 Goals shouldn’t be postponed for the next best possible moment, instead they should be started wherever you are in the moment. Like the old saying, “It’s better now than never.”

“So very rarely do people actually go through with New Year’s resolutions,”  Junior Max Thorton said. “Normally it is just all thought, and I think if people had that same zeal going into a regular day, I think a lot more things would get done.”

Thornton agrees that goals shouldn’t be set aside for one day only.

“I think it is much healthier if you choose every single day to be optimistic instead of just one day a year,” Thorton said. 

The certainty of tomorrow is somewhat a game of chance; whether it will be there or not. Which is unsettling, because it is something that is expected and when it is not there, panic or anxiety can arise. 

However, what is given is today-this moment. A concept that is stereotypically  romanticized  through movies, books, and more. But are those works wrong? Leading up to this moment, this is all we know and all we are. So why not celebrate that, and if not celebrate, work for today so that one day, tomorrow will be what you want your today to look like. 

Throw your hands in the air, try your best, cry hard, laugh harder, and see what is here for you today because beyond today, there might not be tomorrow.