As I venture into another semi-productive academic term, I am once again forced into the post-holiday banter with “insert name here” acquaintances. Now I can handle the occasional “Did you go back home for the break?” or “Did you get any good presents?” But it’s the question “So what’s your new year’s resolution?” that I find most irritating. This is when our mouths go dry and we meticulously pick our minds to come up with a perfect answer to such a question.
Getting better grades? No, that’s just boring, Maybe to lose weight? Oh no, I don’t want them to think I’m superficial. To become a better person? Shouldn’t I be doing that anyway?
The original idea of a “resolution” is to pick something in our lives we want to begin or improve or even possibly eradicate. The problem is that everyone knows by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, everyone will forget their resolutions and go back to being content with their bad habits.
But if this question comes up when you bump into that cute someone down in the Arts Tunnel, you suddenly become Mahatma Gandhi and your resolutions tend to be along the lines of working at the soup kitchen, volunteering at the hospital or donating all your Christmas presents to the less fortunate. So if our genuine resolutions never come through, and our elaborate ones are just to gain approval from people we’re trying to impress, then why do we have resolutions to begin with? Why don’t we just drop the charade?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the prospects of a new year and all but do we really need the added pressure of people asking us what we’ll be doing differently in 2012? Imagine if someone were to come to you during any other time of the year and simply asked you “What are you going to change about yourself today?” Would you not think that questions like that are kind of absurd, unnecessary and personal? Shouldn’t we believe that if we notice something about ourselves we’d like to change, that we would just do it regardless of the date? Perhaps broadcasting our resolutions to our hundreds of Facebook friends is an attempt to keep them — since no one wants their failures to be made so public.
The beauty of being human is that we can change whenever we like. If you want to lose a couple of pounds, the gym is always there. If you want better grades, sleeping through your classes might not be that great of an idea. If you want to be a better person, why do you think you have to wait? I don’t believe in resolutions because I don’t believe one’s betterment should have a due date. We’re in university; we’ve already got enough incomplete assignments.
Graphic: Brianna Whitmore/The Sheaf