A Reflection On The Roller Coaster Year That 2018 Was

A Reflection On The Roller Coaster Year That 2018 Was

2018 was a year of ups and downs for many of us.

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In many ways, 2018 was just another year. We all have good memories and bad experiences. They both define our years, and we revel in the good times. However, when looking back at this year I realized just how consistently inconsistent this year was, from a societal and a personal perspective.

2018 was a real roller coaster year from start to finish.

First off, personally? I managed to achieve a lot. I got onto a research project for next semester, I managed to invite my senior senator for a get out the vote rally on my campus, I made new friends and commenced meetings for a medical ethics club my friend and I created on our campus. I also found great volunteer opportunities this year.

Those were great moments of this year and they defined it positively.

However, last year came with its own downsides. School was a struggle — it was hard to find a balance and juggle all of my responsibilities. Certain classes vexed me — some teachers seemed to be too demanding and a hassle, while others moved at the speed of light, making it too difficult to succeed in the class.

Combine that with working in a hospital at ungodly hours, and the year was immersed in stress. Stress, while sometimes positive, is not positive when it's consistently present.

2018 also brought us many ups and downs as a nation.

From the President defending hush money payments for infidelity, to the immense fires causing apocalyptic amounts of damage to California, to trade wars that harmed many of our farmers and fellow Americans — 2018 was a year with many disappointing and saddening moments. There was many a fight over politics, further increasing the division between sides of the aisle in America.

2018 also produced some of the worst music imaginable. Justin Timberlake's new album was tragic, 6ix9ine dropped some pathetically drab and dull material and Lil Xan — a shockingly bad rapper as is — dropped an album that exceeded all expectations for badness.

However, 2018 also brought us some great moments.

Some phenomenal music was released this year in the form of Astroworld and Kids See Ghosts, as well as Boarding House Reach by Jack White.

2018 also brought out the highest midterms turnout since 1914, with an estimated 118 million votes cast. Whether or not you agree with the House shift, it is satisfying to see so many individuals involved in the democratic process, despite obvious gerrymandering in many states.

Furthermore, public school teachers in many states — frustrated with decreased funding, lower salaries, and frankly understaffed and dilapidated facilities — fought for better pay for teachers and facilities for future generations of students.

Overall, 2018 was an interesting year.

While there is much more one could discuss in terms of culture (Kanye, Drake, the many memes that were promulgated across the internet, movies such as Black Panther), 2018 brought along the usual in terms of something exciting and great, as well as something remarkably sad.

2019 will, hopefully, not be as consistently inconsistent as its predecessor was.

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17 Resolutions For 2017

New Years is the perfect excuse for making better habits.
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It is officially 2017! After the mess of a year that was 2016, I definitely wanted to take the new year as an opportunity to strive to be a better person. There are so many aspects in my personal life that I would like to perfect or better, and the new year is a fantastic opportunity to begin working on the such things. I feel that there are many New Years resolutions that are common among all people including exercising more, eating healthier, and practicing self-care; so, I have compiled a list of 17 resolutions that I would like to accomplish in 2017 in order to inspire others who share some or all of the same goals.

1. Say yes to more adventures.


I spent the latter half of 2016 studying abroad in England, which was an adventure that was completely out of comfort zone. However, this experience helped me grow as a person. In the new year, I would like to do a lot more of what makes me uncomfortable.

2. ...but be comfortable with saying no.


Although saying yes to new things can be eye-opening growing experiences, it is important to learn to say no to things that bring you stress.

3. Take more time to relax.


As a working college student, I tend to have a lot of responsibilities and due dates that flood my life with stress and anxiety. I feel that I definitely need to learn how to relax and take time to practice self-care.

4. Eat a cleaner diet.


Eating clean is something that I would like to practice during the new year, because clean diets have been found to lead to clearer skin, less anxiety, and more energy.

5. Work Out consistently.

In addition to eating clean, exercising is key to achieving a healthy, balanced life. Personally, I love running and working out, but I would like to follow a consistent plan during the new year in order to make more time for exercising.


6. Have a schedule and follow it.

Sometimes, I find myself forgetting events or due dates. I think it is important to write important reminders down and create and follow a daily schedule so that you are able to stay on track.


7. Stop procrastinating.

It is extremely easy to procrastinate on school or work if you do not practice healthy habits. In 2017, I am going to try my hardest to develop small habits that will lead to big differences in my work performance.


8. Maintain a better sleeping pattern.

I have a really poor habit of falling asleep and waking up at erratic times, so I am striving to develop a healthier and steady sleep schedule that will hopefully be leaving me feeling energized throughout the day.

9. Read one book per month.

A good way to relax is to read, and I haven't found the time to read a good book in a long time. Also, reading is a brilliant alternative to spending time mindlessly scrolling through social media.


10. Challenge myself to save $5000 by the end of the year.

I found a great plan for saving money (thanks to Pinterest), and I am really excited to follow it so that I can learn how to save and manage my money better.

11. Be more patient.

Oftentimes, I find myself extremely impatient with how certain aspects of my life are panning out, so I feel that it might be healthy to relax and leave some things in the hands of the universe.

12. Unplug more.

Every morning, I wake up and immediately turn to my phone in order to check my texts and social medias. I want to get rid of this nasty habit and spend more time doing healthy activities in the mornings such as reading or practicing yoga.

13. Spend less time in my room.

Sometimes, I feel that life is too much to handle and I don't want to leave my room. However, it is important to remember that everything will turn out fine. Get out and embrace the day!

14. Make my own coffee at home more often.

One of my worst habits is giving a lot of my money to Starbucks. It is easy to stop at the Starbucks drive-thru on the way to school or work, but the money you spend on coffee certainly adds up after a while.

15. Call more people.

If I am unable to talk to someone in person, I certainly result to sending a short text to them. However, I find that it is healthier to speak over the phone if possible; this simple act can help relationships flourish.

16. Spend less money on frivolous things.

The amount of clothes, food, makeup, or coffee that I have spent money on is honestly ridiculous. I should be saving my money for more important things, so in 2017, I would like to be more of a minimalist.

17. Do my best.

All in all, I can draft out my goals for the new year, but the only thing I can do to be a better person is my best. I hope that you try your best to make 2017 your year to thrive!

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It's Always A Good Time To Better Yourself

New year, new you.

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We all like to play the New Year's game of creating resolutions most of us will most definitely not keep. We hear everyone going on and on about "new year, new me" and pretend like we want to engage as well. I failed to realize what it is about the new year that makes people want to change themselves. It's as if the digit changing at the end of the year is important to us changing ourselves.

You can make a change at any time of the year, so why now?

With this upcoming year, I feel like I have answered the qualms of the above statements. I have realized it is less about a new you, but more about a better you. The new year makes us feel fresh and gives us new energy. The digit changing, it gives us the motivation to make the changes to improve ourselves. While the last year has been so generous, I want to make the next year even better.

This is not a how-to guide on how to keep your resolutions, but more on how to make them. We tend to set unrealistic goals based off of ideas perpetuated by society rather than what truly makes us happy. We think by losing weight we will feel better about ourselves. By doing this we bypass the real goal altogether, feeling good about ourselves. This can apply in other circumstances. as well. If you're a writer, your goal could be to write more instead of writing better or writing something you care about. By deciding what truly matters to us, we can set goals that guide us to success instead of deterring it.

Even a simple task every day, like making the bed, can set the tone for the day as productive and neat.

Everyone is different and having the same three goals as every other person will not help you. Think about who you are and what you need to motivate you. Going to the gym may make you hate getting out of bed in the morning, but a small workout at home can be just as effective and more interesting for you.

Resolutions are what you make them out to be. You can choose to make them something meaningful.

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