2015 is only days away, and that scares the bejeezus out of me. And I just used a term not recognized by Microsoft Word, so you know I’m serious.
Maybe this is me becoming a true participant in the ~human experience~ and all that jazz, but 2014 was the shortest year of my life thus far. I feel like it’s barely even begun. And though I certainly packed enough (perhaps too much) stuff into 2014 to fill a decade, the whole year was so fast-paced that I barely had a moment to breathe, let alone take it all in. Now, in that weird, peaceful time between Christmas and New Year’s, I can finally slow down and take a good, hard look at 2014 before it officially becomes my past.
I’ll admit, I did a lot of things right. I made some of the best choices and had some of the best times in 2014: auditioning for the spring musical, choosing Alpha Phi, registering for Principles of Marketing on a whim, just to name a few. My time at Hopkins was shaped in so many wonderful ways during 2014, and much of what I’m most thankful for today came into my life within the past year. I’m a very lucky girl.
But I’m also an exceptionally imperfect person. I make a ton of mistakes, many of which I tell you all about on a biweekly basis, and I quite frequently have no idea what I’m doing. As a result, 2014 was one big learning experience for the likes of me, so I’d like to share what it’s taught me. (Read: Learn from my screw-ups.) And, since I’m a huge cheese ball, I’ll do it New-Year’s-Resolution style.
In 2015, I, JHU_Allison, resolve to…
Learn how to cook. Watching my extremely impressive roommates bake a delicious apple pie in our toaster oven forced me to accept that my grilled cheese and ramen noodle skills are just not going to cut it in the real world. Plus, our apartment for junior and senior year has a gorgeous kitchen, and I’d hate to waste it on boiling water. Time to humbly approach Papa Comotto and ask him to show me his gourmet ways.
Learn how to say “no.” I strongly believe that this is a lesson all college students must learn, and the sooner you develop a healthy appreciation for the word “no,” the better. While I enjoyed much of my 2014, it became clear pretty early on that I had over-extended myself when it came to extra-curriculars. As a freshman, your instinct is to say “yes” to everything; you feel like you have to give each new thing a try, meet lots of people, aggressively find your niches. This year of extreme commitment allowed me to discover what I’m truly passionate about and what I need to clear off of my plate next year. It’ll be tough, but I’m determined to make 2015 the year of throwing myself into what I love, and, well, saying “no” to everything else.
Be Nicer to Myself. You’d be hard pressed to find a student at Hopkins who isn’t hard on his or herself, and I’m no exception. But I really got into the habit of placing an unacceptable amount of pressure on myself last spring and this fall. I was a classic overachiever (hello, Hopkins student body) and set a bunch of unrealistic personal goals, And, shocker, I made myself sick trying to reach them. I’ve done this sort of thing all of my life, and it’s so incredibly toxic and damaging. So I refuse to beat myself up in 2015. I pledge to still be conscientious, but a lot more carefree.
Take more pictures. This one seems a little silly or nonessential compared to the others, but I’m convinced that not all resolutions must be profound. During my brother’s 21st birthday party this past weekend, my mom pulled out an old scrapbook of baby pictures, and my whole family spent an hour glued to those photos. I want every Hopkins memory to be preserved with the same care. So I resolve to document 2015 the best that I can. (Not that I resolve to turn into those people who watch concerts through an iPhone screen. Please kill me if I turn into one of those people.)
Make more time for people who matter. I was so busy this past semester, particularly toward the end, that I often ran the risk of going full hermit during the week. Suddenly December was upon me, and I hadn’t seen some important people in months. In 2015, I want to be more conscious of exactly how I’m spending my time and make a concerted effort to put the people I really care about higher up on my list of priorities. Sometimes, studying or Barnstorming can and should wait.
Have a very happy New Year, Internet! I’ll see you in 2015.