A Look Back to 2016 Resolutions

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Looking back to the beginning of 2016, I only had three “main” resolutions:

  1. Finish 30 books
  2. Be more active on Youtube/Blog and maintain an active social media presence
  3. Be Positive

Of course I had other goals (examples of this include finishing my freshman year with a certain GPA, landing an internship, and achieving a certain number of followers on my youtube channel), but those were the three that I placed at the “foreground” (so to speak) in the beginning of 2016. It actually sounded fairly easy to achieve at first… but here’s how I did with them.

Finish 30 Books

How I did: Meh? At the time of this writing I finished 11. Will probably finish 12 or 13 by the end of this year. I ended up writing reviews for most of them, and you can find them right on this blog.

Thoughts: Disappointed that I didn’t quite get to 30, but I realize it was a pretty lofty goal to begin with once school rolled around. It’s always easy to imagine what you want to do during the holiday breaks but actually carrying it out is much harder during the semester. I was also really sorely disappointed with most of the books I read… which made me less inclined to keep reading, honestly. As I grew older I became more critical of the material I read, and even bestsellers such as My Sister’s Keeper, with a whopping 4.5 stars on Goodreads, ended up disappointing me quite a bit.

As for the best book I read this year? It would probably have to be Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

Maintain an Active Social Media Presence

How I did: Alright–it was on and off, on and off–but better than previous years and I’m definitely proud of the content I put out. Originally I had wanted to upload a video onto my Youtube channel every week, but of course that is easier said than done.

Thoughts: I’m actually quite proud of the content (whether it is on my blog or Youtube) that I did put out during this year. I can’t say that my channel has grown a lot, but every vlog and reflection blog post that I did is work that I’m proud of and work that I’m glad I put in during this year. I would like to keep this for the next year as being a content creator is something I genuinely enjoy doing. I would like to keep challenging myself to create more, even when life gets busy and when I feel like I don’t really have time for it.

Be Positive

How I did: This is probably the one that I’m not quite sure how I did. Probably just “ok”, but I think it’s part of growing up. I definitely still find happiness in the small things and I am grateful for every moment, but I think I’ve mellowed out a bit compared to previous years when it comes to my overall happiness.

Thoughts: Last year in particular, I was really bubbly and cheerful (most) of the time. Maybe it’s the sophomore slump getting me down but I definitely felt a change in how I approach things in my head. I don’t think that I was not positive but I feel like I was definitely more realistic and practical as opposed to simply optimistic.

Conclusions

I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped when it came to my 2016 resolutions, but I definitely worked on them throughout the year. At the very end of the day, the “new year” is more of a societal construct… and you definitely don’t need to wait until the very beginning of the year to make a change in your life. I think it was interesting keeping track of my own personal growth and goals from year to year.

sophomore year (so far.)

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and when i turned in my final, the first semester of my sophomore year is over. i’m on the next bus to syracuse and the next flight out to atlanta.

it’s a weird feeling–i was homesick for the most part of this semester and was dying to go home. all semester long, i’ve wanted to give my family a huge bear hug and see their faces. not to say that those feelings have gone away after my finals ended, but i get closer to seeing them, the reality that the semester is over is become more real, too.

as i walked to my final final (heh), i had looked outwards at the all too familiar west campus, the day-old snow crunching under my shoes. as happy as i am to be finally done with finals season, the reality is that my time at cornell has an expiration date of four years, and every time i leave campus for break–summer or winter–is one closer to the final time i leave campus. eight semesters, eight departures. i’ve used up two, and tomorrow would be my third. and before i knew it, i would be hitting my eighth and final. while i don’t know what it’s like to feel that way yet–hitting that last goodbye–the bittersweetness i feel now only foreshadows what i’ll be feeling five semesters from now.

yet, even with these bittersweet undertones, i feel as though as my time at cornell goes on, the ‘bitter’ started to overpower the ‘sweet’. whereas freshman year was full of hope and excitement and aspirations and eagerness, sophomore year was… different. i know all too well that a lot of us become jaded by our second year, roughened around the edges by not just cornell’s winters but also its demanding pace… and unfortunately i was not the exception. i was less inspired. numb, in fact. for me, sophomore year was a mix of frustration, loneliness, and defeat punctured by the occasional moments of happiness.

don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. however, for the better part of this year, i felt lost. i feel like i’m just searching and searching, but what i’m looking for isn’t there. and no, i’m no longer chasing the elusive concept of happiness, but more like a place and a sense of purpose. i think i’ve momentarily lost my place–i know this feeling won’t be here to stay, but it’s something that’s just been bothering me. i go through the motions and i study and i work hard and i participate in the community and socialize and try to be a high-functioning ivy league student who [appears] to have everything figured out. but at the end of the day, i’m not sure where i’m headed, i don’t see an end point, and there’s a bit of fear mixed in with confusion and displacement.

and therein lies the reason that i want to go home–i desperately need a break from this place. the familiarity of home and family is all too welcome after a semester of what feels like swimming against the current.

maybe it’s all a part of growing up. or maybe it’s just sophomore year.

 

thanksgiving 2016

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the ‘i don’t live in the northeast’ struggle: every thanksgiving/break, i have to somehow find a way to get through the break with:

1. adequate food (dining halls are closed during break)

2. adequate social interaction (campus is so crazy quiet on big breaks like thanksgiving)

last thanksgiving, i spent it eating mini bagels in my own dorm (they weren’t even toasted, ugh) because all of my friends went home and i didn’t have anyone to spend it with. i didn’t want to go through the hassle and money to buy a plane ticket back go georgia, so i just stayed.

this thanksgiving, i was lucky enough to be invited to stay with my best friend in washington d.c. (well, a suburb of, but you get the idea) over break. and of course meet up with other friends (apparently everyone lives in that area), take a break from schoolwork, and recharge before diving back into the cruel, cruel reality of finals. i’ll be sharing some pictures here for you all to enjoy.

heartbroken .

 

my campus was devastated this morning. shocked, stunned, in mourning.

the sun seemed to have forgotten to show its face today as i walked up to slope to class, strangely unaccompanied. there was a strange lack of students from my classes. some professors cancelled class entirely. teaching assistants offered assignment extensions. someone had written the word ‘horrified’ in chalk. the chime masters played the funeral march from the bell tower.

tears fell, and hugs were exchanged. a stunned silence fell over the student body as we contemplated. and the sky remained gray.

my heart feels heavy as i come to terms with america’s decision, wondering how people could possibly support a man who has openly proclaimed that people like me don’t matter. that i, as a woman, am lesser. that i, as an immigrant, do not deserve to be here. that i am less of a human being because i am a minority. and what of my friends? those who identify with the lgbtq+ community, those who are latinx, muslim, black, asian, immigrants, refugees… the list goes on. explain to us why we are lesser. look us in the eye and say that we don’t matter. tell me that the things this man has said was acceptable.

there are political differences, there are political disappointments, and there is fear. legitimate fear that your way of life is going to change because of the decisions of a man who attacks not your ideals and political beliefs but your very identity and existence. legitimate fear that something is going to happen to your friends or your family because they simply don’t fit into the vision that was curated by this version of america.

i believe this election outcome was fueled, in part, by pain and desperation. the pain was strong enough, deep enough, to condone all the hate. i get that–but it didn’t make the outcome any less devastating.

today, we mourn. tomorrow, we stand back up. we support each other, we keep hoping. we choose kindness over hate, acceptance over bigotry. we speak up. and then maybe then we can fix the divide. fix the pain.

take care of yourself. take care of each other.

[Review] Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me before youSynopsis

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. (more…)