Out with the old and in with the “Happy New Year!” Although technically a regular day, New Years holds a certain power to many with a promise of a clean slate. To some, counting down to midnight on New Year’s Eve is freeing, an opportunity to make this year better than the last.
Fear of the unknown future prompts humankind to control what they can and resolve to improve themselves in the New Year, although nothing has technically changed besides the date. Today’s traditions have developed over time. Ancient Babylonians celebrated a New Year which evolved into today’s festivities; they were also the first ones to make promises — possibly equivalent to modern-day resolutions — to pay their debts in the New Year.
In modern times, Americans most commonly resolve to exercise more, lose weight, and save money. However, New Year’s resolutions can also be personal and may not always be tangible.
Junior Mudit Marwaha’s resolution is a resolution in itself. He hopes to stay honest to himself, meaning that if he says he will do something, he follows through with it. “I’ll try my best to achieve my goals by writing down the things that I want to accomplish each day. At the end of the day, I’ll check back to see how much I’ve done,” Marwaha said.
Modifying his goals will be necessary if Marwaha consistently cannot complete them; he believes that this means he was setting unrealistic, impossible goals. Confident in his ability to follow through, Marwaha hopes that his senior year with college applications will prove to be successful.
Sophomore Kennedy Hack-Juman, on the other hand, does not believe in New Year’s resolutions. “Time is linear. It doesn’t start or stop with the beginning of a New Year. So, I think it’s a negative mindset to put all that pressure on yourself on Jan. 1 and then beat yourself up if you can’t live up to those expectations,” Hack-Juman stated.
Alternatively, to keep herself happy, sophomore Mariel Dorismond made several resolutions. “I want to improve my mental and physical health, get better at time management in school and focus on keeping healthy friendships that will last. That’s because I don’t want to fall into a dark space; I want to stay in the sun instead,” Dorismond said.
Hobbies help Dorismond tangibly practice her intentions by keeping her distracted. She loves enjoying fashion, sewing, and making jewelry.
Agreeing with Hack-Juman sentiments about time’s linearity, sophomore Kayla Giset believes that resolutions should not be reserved for the New Year. “I believe that these should be lifestyles, not yearly decisions,” Giset said. Nonetheless, Giset resolves to help others and make a positive impact on her world by checking in on her friends’ mental health and volunteering.