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New Year's 2022: Ben Platt, Britney Spears, Hilary Swank, Lori Harvey, more reflect on 2021

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2021 wasn't exactly the "return to normal" we so hoped for with the rollout of life-saving vaccines following a disappointing, pandemic-fueled 2020. Yet somehow, we are facing 2022 as U.S. COVID-19 cases approach record numbers for the pandemic, thanks in part to the new, highly-contagious omicron variant.

As we all reflect on the highs and lows of the past year and prepare to welcome a new year, we aren't alone.

Ben Platt put it bluntly, saying 2021 "often deeply sucked," but praised his boyfriend Noah Galvin for somehow making it "mostly wonderful."

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See how more celebrities are bidding farewell to 2021 and their hopes and wishes for 2022:

Michelle Obama has already won 2022 after dropping her Instagram post with her "boo," former President Barack Obama. Both are donning 2022 glasses in the photo.

"Happy New Year from me and my boo! 🎉🥳 Wishing you all a year filled with happiness, love, and good health," Obama wrote.

Jennifer Aniston summed up 2021 in an Instagram video that included behind-the-scene moments of the HBO "Friends Reunion," "The Morning Show" co-star Reese Witherspoon, along with her friends Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel and Will Arnett — not to mention one shot of Aniston pulling her foot above her head in an impossible yoga pose.

Britney Spears is looking back at 2021 after being freed from her 14-year-long conservatorship with an inspiring Instagram post. She shared a clip showing a flock of birds being released from their cages and flying free into the air while Jaymes Young's song "Infinity" played in the background. Spears captioned the post "SYMBOLIC of my year this year."

Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank shared an emotional post about the October death of her father, Stephen Michael.

"This past year was a big one for me and I know for so many of us," Swank wrote on Instagram next to a photo of "my Dear Dad" who "made his transition to the other side."

Swank "had a rather unique relationship" with her father after becoming "his sole caretaker" following a lung transplant seven years ago.

"I grew incredibly close to him during this time, deepening our relationship and savoring every moment we had together," Swank wrote. "He will always remain one of my most favorite persons and not a day goes by that I don't miss him."

But as "devastating" as the loss was, Swank wrote that "I was awakened to the truest sense of living again. It helped me better understand the circle of life and where we come from and where we go back to."

"This last year, I hope whatever trials and tribulations you all have had on your life journey bring you closer to your truest essence and help guide you into this New Year," Swank wrote.

Lori Harvey shared a Boomerang on Instagram stories with boyfriend Michael Jordan, dressed for their New Year's Eve celebration. Harvey added the word "Babydaddy" to the scene with no explanation. The two became an Instagram official couple last January.

For Kris Jenner and the Kardashian family, 2021 included many celebrations: "my kids’ birthdays, my grandkids’ birthdays, Mother’s Day, and of course an engagement!"

"It is no coincidence that my top Instagram posts of 2021 are posts about celebration," Jenner wrote on Instagram alongside a collage of photos, including one of Travis Barker's proposal to Kourtney Kardashian.

"I am reminded that the most important moments in life are the special times we share with each other in celebration of love, life, health and happiness… the things we can often take for granted as we go about our day-to-day lives. Every day is a blessing. Every birthday is a gift. Every day we say I love you to our family members, every night we say goodnight to our loved ones, every morning we wake up and do what we love, surrounded by those we love."

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Jenner concluded her heartfelt post acknowledging the challenges of this year and the importance of coming together "to celebrate the highs."

"Thank you for being here with us. You all mean more to us than you will ever know and I pray that you all find many reasons to celebrate in 2022! Sending you so much love!! Happy New Year!!!!"

America Ferrera called 2021 a "centering year."

"I made space for my creative self and practiced nourishment and rest," the actress, producer and director wrote. "I'm deeply grateful for the last year with my loved ones and the daily opportunity to live in the present moment."

Ferrera reflected on "some of the year's highlights" including directing Season 2 of Netflix's "Gentefied" with "people I love," the series finale of NBC's "Superstore" after 6 seasons with "more people I love." She also celebrated 10 years of marriage with husband and actor Ryan Piers Williams.

"And while the moments of glitz and glam were few, they were fun and memorable!" she continued, adding that she loved returning to an-in person Emmys to "celebrate great storytelling." But above all, Ferrera said she was thankful for "the privilege of my health and safety! Thank you 2021!"

Ashley Tisdale's posted a farewell to 2021 on Instagram reminiscing a year filled with hard lessons and special moments. Among the actress' milestones was embracing motherhood, grieving loved ones and battling COVID-19. "2021 had the most life changing moments even up to the last two weeks. I found a strength in me I never knew I had," said the actress.

Lindsay Lohan shared a collage of some of her favorite moments with her family and her fiancé, Bader Shammas, whom she got engaged to last month, in a heartfelt Instagram post.

"Happy New Year!! May your new year be blessed with peace, love, happiness and good health! Sending lots of love and prayers of joy to everyone! #nye2021," she wrote Friday morning.

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Jenna Dewan posted a series of pics of her and her family, children Calum, 1, her son with partner Steve Kazee, Everly, 7, her daughter with ex Channing Tatum, and Kazee himself. The actress looked back on 2021 and opined the past year would never be forgotten.

Dewan wrote: "We quarantined, quarantined again (in australia!), stayed in sweats all day, moved, went back to glam, work and made some of my bestest friends (swipe for sneak peek of Come Dance with Me..!), fell in love with playing a firefighter and working on one of my favorite shows ever, felt normal and went on dates again (!), snuggled, lost our beloved family dog Violet, grieved, cried and hugged together, worked together, had family over for holidays finally, played, and most of all- loved hard.

I’m proud of all of us. Loving you all into this new year! ❤️✨❤️✨."

"Pitch Perfect" actress Rebel Wilson rang in the New Year looking fashionable in a shimmery see-through Burberry dress.

"Starting the New Year off strong!" she captioned her Instagram post. "HAPPY NEW YEAR you legends, love from downunder!"

In another post, Wilson can be seen smiling from ear-to-ear as fireworks went off behind her: "Here's to 2022!"

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camila, Duchess of Cornwall, shared a message on Twitter wishing a "very happy and restful New Year" to everyone.

"A joy to see so many of you again this year – whether that be with elbow bumps, handshakes or a friendly wave from afar!" the tweet read.

Prince William and Duchess Kate also shared a brief New Year's Eve message on Instagram, writing: "Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!"

Tracee Ellis Ross offered fans a "dance wrap-up" from "what year are we about to be done with? 2020? 2021? Who knows. Who cares."

She added: "Trying to stay in the joy cuz this crap is a lot."

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Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake are focusing on their health in the coming year. "Swolemates," Biel captioned a video of the couple doing an impressive synchronized workout together. "See you in 2022."

Jada Pinkett Smith has already created a new-year mantra for herself, which she shared on Instagram: "May the Great Supreme show you your Divine worth and may you be inspired to build a life that reflects it," she shared on Instagram with the caption, "I'm ready for 2022."

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Taylor Swift seems to be feeling 2022. Alongside a confetti-filled video with her cat, she wrote, "Benjamin is 22 in cat years. #ImFeeling2022." She paired the clip with her song "22" while she mouthed the lyrics: "I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22."

Country music singer Thomas Rhett is looking ahead with some humor. He shared a picture of his 1-year-old daughter Lennon pulling her hair back and looking a bit frazzled and wrote: "Lennon’s mood towards 2022."

Jared Leto posted a casual photo in which he wished everyone a "happy + healthy 2022."

Singer Lionel Richie took an optimistic route, posing the question to his followers, "What wins do you want to celebrate this year?"

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New Year's: Ben Platt, Hilary Swank, Lori Harvey more reflect on 2021