Every year my parents ask me what my New Year's resolution is, and usually, I say things like: get better grades, exercise more, do something new/challenging, etc. New Year's resolutions usually don't last too long, mostly because they either aren't realistic or are too difficult to actually follow through with. On New Year's Eve, my dad asked what my resolutions for 2019 were going to be. I sat there in silence for a bit, looked at him, and said, "I honestly just want to be happy!". This may remind some of you of Beyonce's infamous line from the Pretty Hurts after she is asked what her aspiration in life was. She simply responded that it was: "to be happy".

While this might seem quite general and mundane, I believe maintaining one's happiness is really hard to do. It's very easy to get distracted by school, society, and just life in general. If you're in college like me, there's also just a great deal of unnecessary stress that we are put through. I for one worry a lot about my future. I want to go to some kind of graduate school and pursue a career in which I can be successful and independent. While keeping topics like that at the back of my head is important, it's equally as important to live in the moment, enjoy life, and not unnecessarily worry or stress about things that aren't currently in my control.

This year, I'm going to try and focus on my hobbies more. I'm really passionate about photography, and unfortunately, for the latter part of 2018, I wasn't able to dedicate that much time to just taking and editing photos. Creative writing is another one of my hobbies, and I am going to be an active member of the creative writing club this semester. I'm also planning on minoring in creative writing, in addition to my public health major.

My friends and family play a significant role in my happiness. I want to continue to make an effort to spend time with my grandparents, as well as my immediate family and friends. I want to travel with them, do fun and silly things, and just make meaningful memories. My grandfather has Alzheimer's Disease, and if there is one thing I've learned from him, it's that you cannot take your memory for granted. I want to create and preserve memories that will last forever - one's that I can look back on when I'm older, even if I too one day begin to have issues with my memories.

Life is precious. I firmly believe that every second shouldn't be wasted, but rather spent in a fulfilling way. Ideals like happiness and love are pure and remind me that this world isn't actually that bad or frustrating. While I am going to focus on my happiness, I also understand that setbacks are a natural part of life, and I want to remind myself to view them in a positive light, as they are the only way to move towards progress and growth.