We’re back! Can you believe it? I can’t, mainly because I don’t want to. I won’t lie, it’s only been a few days and it feels…different. I’ve heard it can be hard adjusting to life back on campus after being away, like going home for the first time after leaving for college. Even though I’m here, I still don’t feel like I’m here. Maybe it’s because I’m starting school for the first time the second time this year, or maybe it is because it is, well, winter quarter.
As I walk around campus, joy and hope for the future is palpable. Students are playing Frisbee on the lawns, biking into the sunset — and it’s January. It’s literally like being in a scene from one of those movies that extol the virtues of the quintessential “college experience.” However, this kind of New Year enthusiasm can quickly be extinguished by the daily grind of school. The sun doesn’t shine forever, even in California. The winter rains seem to wash away the light, happy spirit that is indicative of a new quarter< — a new year.
Always wanting the present year to be even better than the one past, I make tons of New Year’s Resolutions. Most of them are generic mantras and affirmations about learning from mistakes, being the best you can be and all that jazz. But when 2012 rolled around, I felt like it was time for something different. This year, I wanted to make attainable, realistic resolutions so I could make concrete changes in my life. So, I came up with these:
Be nice(r) Personally, I think I’m sweeter than Splenda. However, some of my friends (and family) tend to disagree. Whenever I hear someone tell me this, my initial response is “WTF? I’m so done with you.” And after doing this for the millionth time and watching my friends roll their eyes at me (again), that’s when it hit me. Maybe they’re more right than I want to admit. So this year, I’m resolved to be nicer, or at least, a little less direct upon first approach. Even though it goes against my natural instincts to not check someone — right away — if they’re doing something basic, I should still try. In theory, I’ll get more faith in people if I see them correct themselves, and I’ll look like the brighter, friendlier person I want to become.
Be Healthy(er) I’m with Congress on this one: pizza should count as a vegetable, and any form of a potato (fried, especially) should too. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the healthiest person in world, and I know no doctor or sane person would support my beliefs. As an ardent fan of Michelle Obama, I’m going to jump on this whole “let’s move” bandwagon and commit to stepping up my health game. This means eating green things that aren’t Skittles and coming to terms with my fear of vegetables (they are not evil.) And my commitment to being healthier extends beyond the physical; it includes the mental as well. Healthy looks a little different for everyone. For some, it’s learning how to reduce stress by not taking on as much responsibility, and for others, it’s spending more time thinking positive thoughts to create a positive self-image. For me, it comes down to actually maintaining a balance between eating well, stressing less and making time for stuff that makes me happy. Easier said than done, but I think it’s doable.
Be Spontaneous(er) I support the concept of going with the flow. As a California native, I’m all for not forcing things to happen and seeing where life takes you. Yet, I would not consider myself impulsive. Even though being spontaneous is normally associated with doing stuff without thinking, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. We’re Stanford students. We like to think and we’re good at it (duh, that’s how we got in here in the first place), but sometimes there is a downside to thinking too much, i.e. overthinking the little stuff. Sometimes, it’s just better to go for it than analyze it later. Like Nike says, “Just do it.” After all, if we can’t believe in a multimillion-dollar brand, then who can we trust?
I am determined to stay strong. Why? Besides the personal fulfillment that comes with maintaining resolutions past January 2, they are also legitimate things that I have the power to change. These little changes might even be the rainbows that come with rain in the winter.
Camira would love to hear your resolutions for this year, too. Let her know at camirap “at” stanford “dot” edu.