2016 is approaching quickly, and with a new year comes a time to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. 2015 was an eventful year, and some events we hope to keep in 2015. Before you form your list of New Year's resolutions you will likely give up on around March, consider these 10 things we should definitely leave in 2015.
1. Drunk Social Media-ing
College is the first time (for most of us) where we have had the chance to do pretty much whatever we want. Unfortunately, with technology being as advanced as it is in 2015, our terrible mistakes have become more public than ever. I’m sure people have been telling you for years to watch what you put on social media, but with real professions looming around the corner, it has become significantly more important to take this advice to heart. Sure, it’s satisfying for all your high school friends to know how much fun you’re having in college, but keep in mind that there are so many other people who will see those photos. With 2016 right around the corner, drunk social media posts need to be kept in the past.
2. Friend-on-Friend Hate Crimes
In the past few years, it has become all too common for friends to demean one another. Derogatory and cuss words have become the way of addressing each other; criticizing each other's looks and behavior has become the most common forms of communication. Even if it’s a joke, chances are everyone has taken the "joke" to heart at least once. You are friends with your friends for a reason. There are so many other places you or your friends could go if you feel like being criticized, but you should be able to come to each other for praise and positivity all the time. In 2016, I challenge you to make an effort to bring your friends up and leave the negativity in 2015.
3. GPA Obsession
As college students, I’m sure nearly all of us have pulled an all-nighter to finish a giant research paper or cram for a final at the last second. It is all too common for students to sacrifice their mental health for their GPA, a trade that is quite simply not worth it, ultimately. According to a 2013 article by Psychology Today, “college students found that 57 percent of women and 40 percent of men reported experiencing episodes of ‘overwhelming anxiety’ in the past year, and 33 percent of women and 27 percent of men reported a period in the last year of feeling so depressed it was difficult to function.” We all want to succeed in school, but for 2016 we must remember our health and happiness matter just as much as our grades, and sometimes it’s best to just put down the textbook and catch some sleep.
4. “What are those?!"
This video and catch phrase has been all the rage at the end of 2015, and I say they both need to end together. The original video was funny and all, and of course there were some copy-cats that were pretty clever too, but all-in-all the phrase is overused and unoriginal. This is one trend that definitely needs to die in 2015.
5. Waist Trainers
In case you haven’t heard of them, a waist trainer is a device you wrap around your stomach to enhance your hourglass figure. Basically, it is a modern-day corset. Many celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian-West and her sisters, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, are endorsing these products as a sure-fire way to tighten your tummy muscles and sharpen your curves, but there are many more effects than any of the celebs are mentioning. I mean, let’s break it down: the idea is you will wear this corset-like-contraption and eventually your body will mold to that shape permanently. Does that sound plausible to you? It doesn’t to me. Besides the obvious issue of waist trainers crushing your ribs, lungs, and other organs, many doctors are saying the process does not even work, such as Caroline Apovian, M.D., who claims the idea of waist training as effective long-term to be “complete nonsense.” Sure, when you’re wearing one it may look good, but once you take it off your body goes back to the way it was, so let’s throw this fad out the window in 2016.
6. Body Shaming
We’ve all heard somebody say something along the lines of, “There should be a weight limit for girls to wear yoga pants,” or “You’re so skinny, why don’t you eat a burger every once in awhile?” Society has decided it has the right to deem what is and is not appropriate for a person to wear based on their size. Nobody likes being told the way he or she looks is wrong or unattractive. Besides, chances are, the person who is being body shamed is more aware of their flaws than anyone, so just leave the criticism in 2015.
7. Celeb Bashing
With all the reality shows and tabloids, it is easy to get caught up in the lives of the rich and the famous. They have shiny cars and fancy jewelry, but they are also humans, just like us, trying to live life. It would be nearly impossible for me to tell you to ignore celeb drama entirely, but keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, and there is no reason to hold an actress or singer more accountable for their actions than some random guy walking down the street just because there are photographers that follow them around and broadcast their mistakes. It is so easy to think of celebrities as fictitious characters since we only see them on TV or in magazines, but in 2016, I say we keep in mind that celebs are not robots and make mistakes like everyone else.
2015 has been an extremely eventful year, both in the movement toward tolerance and unfortunately, away from tolerance. From the legalization of gay marriage to the Black Lives Matter movement, a lot of headway has been made in the fight for equality for people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses. That does not mean, however, the opposition against tolerance and equality does not still exist. According to an article by the Washington Post, in the first 274 days of 2015, there were 294 mass shootings in the United States. As we move into 2016, it is important to remember to practice tolerance toward all. One person does not speak for an entire religion or race, and we must pass judgment upon an entire group for one individual's actions.
9. Excessive Selfies
Don't get me wrong -- taking selfies is a pretty fun trend that has appeared as phones have gained front cameras, but too many people are overdoing it. I am all for snapping a cute pic of you and your pal out at a concert or at your favorite pizza place, but it is important to remember the experience did in fact still happen even if you don't snap a pic for proof. Furthermore, there are many disorders associated with excessive selfie-taking. According to an article on Psychology Today, "Posting numerous selfies was related to both higher narcissism and psychopathy." If mental and emotional side-effects are not scary enough for you, consider this: according to an article by The Huffington Post, "Selfie-related accidents have killed more people worldwide this year than shark attacks have..." Of course, both fatality numbers are very small, but it is still a fact that might make you rethink how often you flip on that front screen camera. In 2016, I challenge you to put down the phone or camera and try enjoying the moment without photographic proof.
10. The “Too Cool To Care” Act
In 2015, it has become exceedingly common for people to define apathy as cool. People compete to see who cares the least about school, relationships, or basically any emotional situation ever. For some reason, caring or putting effort into anything has become uncool, and that definitely shouldn't be the case. It is not lame to be passionate about a subject or idea. It is not lame to put effort into relationships with your friends, family, or even your crush. And with the Presidential election right around the corner, it certainly is not lame to stay informed and vote. In 2016, I challenge you to stand up for what you care about and work hard to achieve your goals unapologetically.