1. Start fresh
2017 began with a cataclysmic performance by Mariah Carey, which set the tone for the rest of the 365 days. That’s not to say 2017 was a total wash. I, as a first-year, now have my first semester of college under my belt, and everyone around me has also experienced huge changes in the past year. While change is about as unwelcome as getting out of bed before noon, it is an inevitability — unlike getting out of bed, which I’ve stopped doing altogether. With all this experience at our backs, it’s time to start fresh just like Mariah Carey did in a heroic if not uncomfortably dramatic way. Let this set the tone for 2018 as we go forward into the new year mostly unwillingly, but also with partial enthusiasm and insanity.
2. Feed your flaws
I don’t have a healthy diet. In fact, I have a reliance on sugar that engenders the same symptoms of withdrawal and need as a drug addiction. Instead of resolving to wean myself off of sugar, I’ve decided to embrace this one habit in the hopes that my other habits of sporadically jogging a single mile or consuming a lot of protein will magically balance the scales. While this seems unlikely, it’s just about as unlikely as me resisting an entire box of See’s chocolate. It is important to acknowledge that we can always be better, but never be perfect — choose your battles. I’ll choose my other battles while I eat a large bag of gummy bears. It’s fine — they’re organic.
3. Follow your impulses
Life is full of things you must do. For the most part, we choose what those things are. We all chose to go to college, and we can complain as much as we want, but this is where we want to be. It is also, however, where we feel we must be. Sometimes it is important to do things just for the want of it. There is simple pleasure in wanting to have waffles and immediately having some, in wanting to see the ocean and getting in your car and driving there. Swallowing your impulses is a good skill to have. It will keep you from doing destructive nonsense, like Amazon-ordering a $130 alarm clock. There are some things, however, that you should let yourself have, like maybe a $30 alarm clock.
4. But don’t follow all of your impulses
My impulses include a good deal of online shopping and sleeping. These things are, however, not really what I ultimately want. I would certainly keep buying discount sweaters, but my clothes already litter the entirety of my bedroom floor, which shows that maybe I don’t really want a velvet camisole despite my inner yearnings. I also don’t really enjoy waking up at 2 p.m. because then I end up staying awake until 5 a.m. watching HBO, which has a shocking amount of graphic content — though I do recommend “Girls” or “Game of Thrones” — or writing this article thinking about waking up the following afternoon and doing it all over again. The fact that I’m awake writing at 4:41 a.m. is not promising, but the start of “Girls” was not promising either, and season six is pretty darn good.
5. Do something that makes you feel good
My brother once postulated that we are all just heads, and that everything important about us is contained in our brain, making our body superfluous. Do something that reminds you that you are more than just a head. I’m not a big fan of exercise — in fact, I would say I lightly oppose it — but it’s a nice reminder that my body can do more than just carry me from the couch to the car to Target and back. I trained Jiu-Jitsu for a summer, and the idea that I could drop somebody in the street was definitely delusional but also liberating. It’s also an excuse to listen to loud music and pretend like I’m in a teen action drama movie like “Divergent.”
6. Read something that makes you think
We all read things in college, with the idea being that it will spawn a transformative thought process. The thing about required reading, however, is that I could read “Othello” a thousand times and it would never change me as much as the “Gallagher Girls” series did. Reading something that genuinely interests you is an important experience. I believe the right book at the right time can change your life. I have a whole library of recommendations, and I’m guessing so do a lot of other people.
7. Try new things
I don’t really do this often. In fact, going to college is the newest thing I’ve done since I got a second ear piercing and immediately let it close up. Just by being in college, it feels like I’m trying new things every day. I’m well aware, however, that I tend to enjoy settling into a routine. That said, I am attempting to try things I normally wouldn’t do, despite the fact that it really interferes with the amount of time I spend in bed. For example, I’m rushing a sorority this semester, which is exciting and also terrifying. I’m really holding on to my mother’s advice that it will be exactly like “Legally Blonde.” I think that’s about as much new as I can handle for now — baby steps. It is also possible that the rest of the year may contain a maelstrom of newness. While that would be alarming, I ultimately trust that it would be alarmingly amazing. If not, my routine isn’t going anywhere.
8. If something is bothering you, change it
My mother, a yoga enthusiast, says that if something is bothering you, either change it or accept it. I usually go with the more accepting path as that is the path of least resistance, but if something is easily changed then why suffer instead?
9. Drink more
Apparently, the healthy thing to do is to drink two liters of water a day — according to Google — but that’s a whole lot. I tried to do it for a while but inevitably gave up when I began to feel more water than person. Though I wish I could consume that much water without feeling sloshy, alas I cannot. I have not, however, given up on the power of beverages. I once described tea as a bath in a cup, which sounds faintly disgusting but also encapsulates the spa-like relaxation a cup of tea offers. Coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider, smoothies — a whole host of beverages exist solely to serve our every whim. Drink up.
10. Keep on doing what you’re doing
The new year is nice in its freshness, with all of your past on one side of the line and a blank canvas on the other. A calendar change, however, does not necessarily dictate a whole life change. There are things we’d all like to change in our lives and the new year seems the best time to do so, but what you’ve been doing has been working tremendously well for 18+ years. Keep up the good work, and here’s hoping 2018 is just as sparkly as you are.