5 Resolutions For 2017

5 Resolutions For 2017

It's not "new year, new me" -- it's "new year, same me, but better."
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People will always try to say that New Years resolutions are overrated, and cynically insist that no one ever keeps them anyway.

But at the end of each year, I feel it's important to look back and reflect upon the strides I've made, what I've accomplished and what I haven't, and the areas in which there is still room for me to improve. I try to see life as a continuous journey to become the best person I can be, knowing that each year will bring new and more difficult challenges than the previous one, and I'll have to figure out ways to accept them and cope with them. I know this coming year is going to bring big changes--in school, at work, in the world around me. So, yes, like so many others who are on a continuous journey of self-improvement, I'm taking the new year as an opportunity to set some new goals for myself on that path. I guess you could say I'm preparing for the next level of the game that is my life.

And yes, I DO have faith in myself that I can keep these resolutions--this year and beyond.

1. Relax

I never realized just how many thoughts constantly raced through my mind, or how that might be affecting my life, until a few days ago when I downloaded a meditation app and began doing 10-minute daily exercises. Slowing down, quieting my mind and letting all those thoughts go felt better than I could have ever imagined, and I couldn't help thinking of how much more productive I could be if I always felt relaxed, centered and clear-headed. So this year, I'm going to continue taking time at the beginning of each day to meditate, and at the end of each day to unwind and de-stress. When the new spring semester begins, I know I'll be able to improve my GPA, my relationships and my general way of life in a more relaxed state.

2. Keep a journal

At the same time, when I'm going through something big in my life that brings confusing feelings with it, I know writing in a journal is a good way for me to sort them out. It's another way to make more space in my mind for clearer thinking.

3. Become a better communicator

Communication is essential in all relationships--romantic, friendly, professional, and so on. It's how people come to understand each other's feelings, thoughts and ideas. This year, I want to make sure my feelings, thoughts and ideas are heard, and that they're heard in the right way. I want to be able to let others know what I need from them, and be there when others need something from me.

4. Keep my word

I'm not just going to say "We should really try to hang out more!" and then let weeks pass with no contact at all. I'm going to make sure it actually happens. I want people to know me as the type of person who really means what she says--especially when it comes to nurturing friendships.

5. Stop degrading myself, and start praising myself

I'm now entering my 21st year. I believe now is as good a time as ever to realize that I'm going to make mistakes, and it's going to be okay. They're not a comment on my character and they don't take away from the good parts of me. I'm really going to try and have more faith in those good parts.



Cover Image Credit: Ariana Leo

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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6 Ways To Start Pre-Gaming Your Summer Plans Today

A few ways to help you prepare for summer.

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Summer is coming sooner rather than later and we all need to get ready for it.

1. Start making trip plans now.

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If you are wanting to do a getaway over the summer, I would suggest starting to plan for the trip now. The closer you get to the time in which you want to go, the higher the prices of plane tickets and rooms go up. Also planning ahead gives you the chance to pinpoint exactly how you want to spend your trip and not waste your time. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and being stuck at the hotel the whole time because you have no idea what is our there for you to do.

2. Buy sunscreen.

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Do you really want to end up like her? I don't think so. Even if you are the type of person with the mentality that you will only be out in the sun for a short period of time, it doesn't matter. We all need sunscreen. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we need to take care of it. Think of it this way, do you want to have sunspots when you're old? Or would you rather maintain your youthful appearance for as long as you can?

3. Find a new hobby.

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Let's be honest here for a minute, the majority of us do absolutely nothing over summer break and feel no guilt for it. I have done this several times over the years, and I now look back and realize all the time I wasted not learning or doing something new. If you are working full-time, have summer school, or a summer internship this does not apply to you unless you have the time to do so.

For the rest of y'all, get up and learn something. Learn how to knit. Take a kickboxing class. Try out new hiking places. Start learning another language, or continue practicing the one you learned in school at places where the language is commonly used. Get outside of your comfort zone!

4. De-stress and dispose.

You are so close to summer sometimes it stresses you out trying to get everything done. You need to realize that summer isn't going anywhere and you will get there eventually. Take a deep breathe and keep going. What I like to do is start throwing out the paperwork from this semester that I know I will never use again, don't want, and papers that I don't plan on using for the upcoming final. Disposing of those papers helps me visualize that the semester is almost over.

5. Buy a new swimsuit.

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Before you go out and buy a bunch of new swimsuits, try your old ones on first and see if they fit. Sometimes you just need a new top to match the bottoms that you already have or vice versa. Also, if you know that you are not going to buy a swimsuit for the pool or beach several times throughout the summer, don't waste your money on a new swimsuit. The one from last year that you never wore will do just fine.

Save Money

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The simplest way to understand it is no saving = no money to spend during summer. If you have all kinds of different trips and things you want to do that cost a fee, it would be wise to start saving up for all of your other expenses that you would normally have to pay per month like insurance, phone, or a car payment. I will be in the car payment category since I just bought a new one a few weeks ago.

That being said, my first car payment is due the week I am in New York. I don't want my New York money to be used for a car payment, so I've been taking extra shifts at work to compensate. I have also started going through my closet and selling the items I don't want anymore. There are several resale stores and places online for you to sell your unwanted clothes and other items to put some extra cash in your pocket.

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