New Year; New-ish me

Oh Whale!

Michyla Lin, Design Editor

I am willing to bet that 97.34 percent of the world’s population woke up on Jan. 1, of 2018 with the brilliantly original thought, “New Year, new me!”. The beginning of the year is a period of time supposedly geared toward self-improvement through making new year’s resolutions, which, in my opinion, is an extremely unavailing tradition.

When I looked back on my high school career at the beginning of this school year, I decided that I would work toward what can be summed up in two incredibly cliché words: my “glo up.” A “glo up,” for reference, is a play on the phrase “grow up” and refers to a person’s transformation in style and self-confidence.

I am realistic enough to know that I can’t expect to wake up one morning looking like a supermodel and call it a day. After doing some serious self-reflection this past holiday break while scrambling to describe who I am in under 350 words for college applications, I had an epiphany: I was wrong thinking this was something I could accomplish in a year.

I had naively believed that a “glo up” was a one and done deal, completed after shallow tasks such as gaining a sense of style or finally figuring out how to make a straight. No, a real “glo up” requires patience and persistence when learning to develop not only what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside. This can be anything from learning how to be a better friend or working on self-love.

And here’s the catch that most people, including myself, fail to realize until much later: the “glo up” never ends. Personal development isn’t something you can achieve just by making a list at the beginning of the year, only to check it every 365.25 days. Whether we like it or not, we are constantly changing with every choice we make each day. That, my friends, is why the ritual of creating New Year’s resolutions is a vicious cycle that never fails to pull in its victims with alluring terms such as “a fresh start,” “the best is yet to come” and “stop procrastinating.”

After many years of this tradition being hammered into our minds by culture and Facebook event reminders, we end up doing more harm to ourselves than actual good without even realizing it. I see this in in everything from my friends, the radio, even cringy memes online: we have created a tradition that chooses to joke about and distract ourselves from realizing that maybe our resolutions are inherently the reason we feel disappointed at the end of every year. Rather, we should be taking more time to set proper goals that can be realistically accomplished within a year so that we can actually begin thinking of the new year as a chance to level up rather than as a reset button.

So here are my resolutions for the next year.

I want to roll out of bed and feel completely comfortable as I am: unkempt and probably in some really embarrassing pajamas, I want to be able to say I feel good about myself… before I get up to wash the grossness from my face.

You might notice that my list is incredibly short. That’s because it’s the one goal that I know I always want to strive toward every year. Though fashions and my interests will change as time goes on, I know that I will, without a doubt, always want to develop a greater sense of self. Over time, as I discover my own priorities, the list will undoubtedly grow. Though my self-perception may fluctuate from year to year, I will always have room to improve myself in multiple ways.

So no, the “glo up” doesn’t end when I finally figure out how to style bell-bottoms and berets. Rather, I will always find opportunities to discover myself in small ways that allow me to work towards the development of my character, and even if I fail…

Oh whale,

I know I’m not quite done trying yet.