Why I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions

Why I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions

It might be more beneficial to keep an open mind about future endeavors as opposed to deciding on a specific goal.
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You can’t think of New years without also thinking of the word “resolution.” The beginning of a new year has moved from a celebration of new beginnings and unlimited possibilities to a list.

By deciding what you want to accomplish at the beginning of the year, you can end up limiting what you are capable of or willing to do.

Some people need lists and goals to motivate them, and I admit that I fall into this category sometimes, but doing this can promote the mentality that once the goal is accomplished, you’re done.

So, these people might not maintain their motivation throughout the year. It might be more beneficial to keep an open mind about future endeavors.

Another issue may come in that the chosen resolution is too high a goal. When this is the case, it greatly decreases the motivation as people realize the difficulty. They are less likely to rally and accomplish it than they are to give up.

By giving up, they see the year as a kind of failure and aren’t always willing to see the potential in upcoming months.

Resolutions can also produce a lot of stress, as this goal is made the center of a person’s life. The rigidness of this placement of importance means a necessary devotion that can be draining. This is increased by other responsibilities like jobs, personal life, college, and/or health.

I do not think that goals and resolutions are bad, just that they do not positively impact a person’s life when equated with potential happiness. Goals can be good when kept in appropriate perspective, not as a necessary or vital event. But that is what New Years has become, a way to enforce more structure upon yourself and stress yourself before you have even gotten the chance to relax and appreciate what the future has to offer.

It is impossible to know specifically what the future holds. I personally believe that making a plan for your life can be helpful as long as you are willing to accept another outcome. Hard-resolved resolutions bring disappointment largely due to a person’s inability to acknowledge that the resolution isn’t the right fit.

This can be compared to general knowledge. People used to believe that the earth was flat until it was discovered to be round. In this way, resolutions can only be effective if they are adaptable to changing beliefs and situations.

I have made resolutions in the past and have found that they were just another disappointment. Through my experiences, I have changed my perspective in order to be more open to what the new year brings. Of course, I have ideas and hopes for the new year, but I am going to keep them as such. What plans I make will be regarded as a kind of outline for me; getting ideas out there without a finality.

I don’t write this as if I don’t have things I want to happen for me in the upcoming year, just that I want to take things as they come, without major disappointments or expectations.

After all, goals and resolutions are a personal matter, and I support anyone who is striving for a happy life. If that means a New Year’s resolution, great. Personally, I am going to be open to whatever 2018 might have in store for me.

Cover Image Credit: Brandy Clymer

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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working with children is the most rewarding summer job

Because summers are for camp!

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For the past four summers, I have had the opportunity to work at the place I have called my "summer home" since I was 8 years-old. Summer camp was always the highlight of my year, and was the thing I looked forward to the most. It is the place that has given me countless memories, plenty of laughs, and amazing friends, so it was only fitting that I would work there for as long as I could.

Working with 5 year-olds is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. When your biggest concern is going into kindergarten, life is pretty simple. There is no teenage dram, or stress of finding what you want to do with your life- they just want to have fun! Working with kids has taught me to let go and not stress over the little things. As a counselor, it is your job to make sure kids have a great summer... what's a better job than that?!

Many of my childhood memories come from spending summers at camp. I remember the names of the counselors that have given me these incredible memories and who have truly had an impact on my life. Working at camp has given me the opportunity to give back, and be the counselor that my camper's will remember.

Although people may laugh at the idea of being a camp counselor and say that it isn't a "real job," I can testify that it is one of the hardest jobs out there. Being a camp counselor requires high energy, attention, and A LOT of work. It has also taught me important skills that will help me when I decide to venture in the professional world. I have learned about leadership, decision making, and time management while working at camp- and the best part of it all, was that my job didn't really feel like a job.

So for anyone who is feeling the stress of finding internships that will look great on your resume, you have TIME! Although it may seem that you need to be working in a fancy corporate office and networking 24/7, the truth is that all of that will come in the future. Enjoy your summers while you can, and find a summer job that actually makes you happy before you sell your soul to a summer internship.

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