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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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

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12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

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13. Frat House Dr. Sign

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Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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It's Time To Celebrate The Holiday Heroes We Hardly Speak Of

It's time we stop taking these men and women for granted.

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For the hardworking employees of FedEx, UPS, DHL, TNT Express, etc., there is no such thing as a holiday vacation. While many US families take several days to weeks away from the office/school to build gingerbread houses, go skiing, and put up the Christmas tree, delivery men and women strap on their winter boots and head to the trucks.

There seems to be a sort of luxury to holiday gift shopping the 21st Century - we simply search what we're looking for, click 'purchase', and wait for the item to arrive at our doorstep in 5 to 7 business days. If we're really in a pinch, we can opt for "express shipping" which delivers your package THE VERY NEXT DAY for an extra fee. However, because of these conveniences and advancements in modern-day society, deliverymen are suffering during the holiday season. In 2017, UPS drivers had been asked "to work 70 hours over an eight-day period" just to keep up with the rapid influx of packages and letters. Shockingly, this increase in overtime could not cover the number of parcels needing to be delivered (even with the extra employees they hire during the holidays), so office workers were required to do some delivery.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said "several hundred" office employees have been assigned to various operations roles, from sorting packages to assisting drivers as seasonal helpers, over the last few weeks.

Accountants, marketing assistants, and custodial staff were left to use their personal vehicles to deliver packages, often being asked to "change clothes and go to a local site that day or the next day" for fear of being recognized. Additionally, to compensate for a large number of packages on daily routes, UPS drivers had no choice but to work during their break-times. This forced many employees to drive hungry, exhausted, and in pain from a lack of bathroom breaks. Some employees even admitted to carrying empty water bottles in the trucks so that they could relieve themselves without having to venture off route and decrease productivity. One FedEx employee described his daily tasks as exhausting in quoting, "My body is completely destroyed. I am so afraid of getting injured and not being able to work."

Trust me, I know that online shopping is a gift sent from the gods - it's often cheaper, easier, and quicker than going to the mall. It also provides an abundance of job opportunities across America, employing 374,000 workers in just UPS alone. Thus, I am not encouraging you to cut back on your holiday purchases, but instead, show a little respect and kindness towards your local delivery person. They have families and presents and decorations to worry about, too. But most importantly, they're human. Whether your parcel arrives a day late, your delivery comes slightly damaged, or the item you had ordered wasn't what you expected it to be, do not take your frustration out on the drivers. Perhaps, spread some holiday cheer by keeping your rabid dog inside when the truck pulls in front of your house (lol), greeting your deliveryman with a smile, or by offering some treats to get them through their day.

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