Bearing News and Southpaw writers look back at past resolutions and create new ones for 2021.
Shruti Gautam, feature editor
My resolution for 2020 was to take more pictures with my friends. This now ironic sentiment stemmed from a want to capture the moments I loved after months of isolation. My resolution for this next year, however, is a bit different. I hope to instead have more non-memorable moments.
It’s the fun in those random times I miss the most, and I hope to have so many memories that I don’t want to feel compelled to capture them anymore.”
The desire to have pictures is a byproduct of also wanting special memories with friends and family. I don’t really value that anymore, however, as it sidelines the enjoyment in the unplanned. There was an inherent spontaneity and freedom in everyday life lost this year after transitioning to a mundane, restricted lifestyle. By having more memories that aren’t too special, it means I will also make more memories with friends overall. It’s the fun in those random times I miss the most, and I hope to have so many memories that I don’t want to feel compelled to capture them anymore. I recently watched Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, two movies that embraced the whimsical nature of ordinary conversation. Regardless of how this year will look, I want to embody that profound spirit. Hopefully, I can make this last semester of high school full of so many memories that I can’t remember them all.
Nora Crutcher-McGowan, commentary editor
Every year, I reluctantly sit down to write a short list of my resolutions and goals for the impending year, and every year, they’re too similar to the previous year’s and not quite committedly written. At the start of 2020, I vowed — or really half-vowed — to get out of my comfort zone and have more casual interactions with almost strangers. Did I do this? Sort of? I’ll give myself some leniency, seeing as in March, the whole country shut down. I then embarked on another family-centered summer mostly away from home, and well, here we are, doing virtual school. So this one, I’ll keep for 2021. I also vowed to read more, and while I know I read some great stories this year, given the subtle free time I allocated for this activity, I can’t seem to remember a single one that truly impacted me, other than “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou. So I’m going to assume I didn’t quite fulfill this goal. For 2021, I want to read more, but not just novels — more news stories, of which I honestly enjoy doing — but also educate myself. I want to read more memoirs and books by activists, and unlike 2020, include the time to reflect and learn from this information. Another thing I want to work on in 2021 is being creative in my free time. Instead of simply hanging out with friends and walking downtown, I want to spend more time scouting out Columbia’s trails and outdoor leisurely activities. I know there’s a lot I’m not taking for granted in this aspect. Lastly, I want to give myself the time of day to relax for once, even if that means blowing off a few things, because sometimes I forget I am living through a literal pandemic, and nothing is really more urgent than simply surviving it.
Anjali Noel Ramesh, news editor
This year, I’ve learned I lack the level of self-discipline needed to be truly successful in life. Therefore, you would think my New Year’s resolution would be to improve my personal resolve. While creating a strong work ethic will be on my list of aspirations, I believe my efforts are also needed elsewhere.
Since I started avidly using several social media platforms earlier this year, purely out of boredom during quarantine, I became aware of a broad spectrum of issues people face each day. Some included negative body image, lack of motivation and loss of personal integrity as a result of peer pressure . Influenced by this stream of content, I soon began noticing the slightest negative changes in my life, whether it be a flaw in my body I hadn’t noticed before or a sense of laziness in my academics. Although I tried not to rely on validation from others, new insecurities crept in from the standards dictated by teenagers like myself on social media. When several of my friends also joined this loop of discovering new personal shortcomings, we consoled each other with high-pitched praises the moment any comment of self-doubt slipped out. I found myself fully believing what I told them, but laughing off their flattery in embarrassment.
This development, however, did not stop me from using social media daily. Eventually, it became an integral part of my schedule, both to communicate and stay relevant with the rest of the world. My once faint imperfections now glared back at me in the mirror every day.
In the new year, I hope to start truly practicing what I preach. I cannot be alright with complimenting other individuals if I do not accept the compliments in return.”
My goal for the year is not to “achieve” self-love, a capability gained only through time and toil. It isn’t to stop using social media either, although reducing the time I spend on various apps is a target of mine. In the new year, I hope to start truly practicing what I preach. I cannot be alright with complimenting other individuals if I do not accept the compliments in return. Whether it be through surrounding myself with genuine people or taking breaks from social media when it becomes too overwhelming, matching my actions with my words is crucial to building confidence within myself.
What do you hope to change or accomplish in 2021? Let us know in the comments below.